It’s never been easier to launch a startup. Powerful broadband networks, cloud computing and mobile and web applications have lowered the barrier to entry and created efficiencies for small businesses to scale. But while these resources make it easier to launch a business, they don’t remove the challenge of developing a winning product. To do that, startups need access to information. As a former startup founder myself, I have a secret. It’s a stubbornly obvious resource that will save you countless hours of labor and provide you with critical information for your venture: your local library.
Libraries are the single most underutilized resource by startups. And librarians are the key to accessing the library’s wealth of information. Many of the world’s biggest firms are able to employ dedicated librarians for their information needs. But fortunately for the shoestring budgets of most startups, resources comparable to those of the world’s blue chip companies are available for free around the corner.