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Ahead of the Curve

Next up? Finding out what'll be big before anyone else does.

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This story appears in the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you knew in advance what the next must-have product or service was going to be, your entrepreneurial fortune would be made. But how can you tell where to place your bet? In Coolhunting (Amacom, $24.95), innovation experts Peter Gloor and Scott Cooper offer a refrigerated warehouse worth of tricks and tools for identifying what's cool before everybody else does.

Their fundamental approach is to track trendy people, called coolfarmers. You can set up your own system for aggregating opinions of forward-thinkers by creating a group for sharing information--the authors cite Benjamin Franklin as a role model here--or by setting up publications or information networks for trendsetters to swap ideas with others of their ilk.

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