Futurist.gr is a personal authentic effort to influence your spirit and assist you on shaping your image of the future. If you want to change something today change the image of the future. Let’s start by answering these two questions,
• What is probable in the future? What is likely to happen and we have to be ready for.
• What is possible in the future? What might happen and might not happen and has an impact on life and business
When we answer these two questions we can have the best information available to answer the most critical question
- What is preferred in the future? What needs to be done by my side?
Futurist offers an exclusive insights’ mix from the world’s top contributors. These insights can be translated as best practices which are adapted by world’s leading companies and successful entrepreneurs or as interesting opinions – trends – which are identified and then redefined and then again recommended that it seems almost anyone can write them.
Trends are as basic as human nature. They will always exist but their impact, longevity and elements may vary. Catching trends is an art and needs to be developed especially if you are in a fast changing environment.We now live in a world where product lifecycles are measured in months and the whole business model changes every few years. So a trend has always represented only a possibility, but this is now more obvious because timescales are shorter and data availability more widespread.
Three things could happen here
• Business is moving faster. An idea can become a fully fledged market in less than 12 months, a mature one in 2 years and declining by the third.
• Predictions are becoming more complex. A trend tracks a single metric, but it is the convergence of several which tells you where to go. Brands for example follow different trends in different markets, geographies, age and income groups so the “big trend” is broken down into many, more specific ones.
• The decline of the expert. People now are multi-source information so any single expert is given less weight. Often company-sourced information is downgraded compared to peer-sourced information.
On the other side you have to consider several other trends, some of which are going in the opposite direction and someone could argue that,
• Trends are not clear on a time perspective and sometimes do not allow alternative scenarios
• There are too many trends out there and not all are seriously researched
• Sometimes those trends are rarely connected to the business case of each organization or industry. In order to make them work, we have to apply the trend to each business ecosystem
• What use are 5-10 year (ahead) trends in this environment? Do trends send you in the wrong way? Because what happened 5-10 years ago is not what’s happening now.
It is obvious that there is a possibility that your “trend” is actually a siren song which will lead you down a wrong and usually expensive path to nowhere. That is why we are talking about Hard Trends and Soft Trends
A Hard Trend is a projection based on measurable, tangible, and fully predictable facts, events, or objects. It’s something that will happen: a future fact that cannot be changed. Strategy based on the certainty of Hard Trends has low risk. Hard Trend categories include Technology, Demographics, and Government Regulations.
A Soft Trend is a projection based on statistics that have the appearance of being tangible, fully predictable facts. It’s something that might happen: a future maybe. Soft Trends can be changed, which means they provide a powerful vehicle to influence the future and can be capitalized on.
The most important thing when talking about trends is the company’s mindset. If a trend is starting something that could change the way your customers behave it is vital to know about it and react to it before your customers. There are companies doing a phenomenal job of catching trends/micro-trends, and capitalizing on them while demonstrate how a trend translates into money.
In my mind trends are important, but their acceptance is down to behavior needs, wants, desires and good luck on timing. In other words, trends need a broader perspective for planning purposes
Perhaps trends are more like surfing. First you have to find the right wave, and then you have to get on it, and then you have to stay on it, and then you have to get safely off it before you crash to the shore. It is not easy!!
It would be a great honor and privilege for me if you could contribute to this effort and share your impressions and thoughts.
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