Over the last week, I've put in a good bit of research into the potential of the Blackstone Interdimensional Emporium idea. What I found was less interesting than the fact that I could easily find it.
DId you know that you can use Google and Facebook to validate market size?
For instance, using Google Trends, you can see how many searches have come up for a particular term. You can sort those results to understand the various demographics of the one making the query. Through this you can get a rough order of magnitude of the potential market size for any given item/service.
You can also check Facebook to see who has logged an INTEREST that aligns with your idea.
Between these two you can see size of market, validate interest, and even chart evolution of both over time. (and match this up against demographics - one of which is online purchase habits!)
Not too long ago, you'd have had to pay a market research firm tens of thousands of dollars to get this sort of stuff. Now, you can just go on line and drum it up yourself...with infinite, immediate ability to run variant reports.
If information truly is power - access to this is free and easy - more people than ever should be able to create functional, if not lucrative, online businesses by doing a little bit of research and tuning to penetrate identified markets.