Are you a trend spotter?

Ten years ago, when I was pitching my book to publishers, one publisher leaned back in his chair and said, “I don’t get it, she’s never worked in Human Resources, she’s not part of Generation Y, and we can’t even figure out what her career is. So how is she qualified to give career advice to young people?”

I got sweaty. I had pretty much run out of money, and I had spent my last dollar on getting clothes that would hide that I was pregnant. Every time I thought about this book deal falling through, I felt sick.

My agent said, “She is great at seeing trends. She sees trends before everyone else. Generation Y is going to be huge in the workplace. Alternative careers are going to be huge. She is the only person talking about it. She is a franchise. She will be writing books about trendspotting for the rest of her life.”

I could have hugged my agent. I had never thought of myself the way she described me. I mostly just thought of myself as someone who couldn’t even handle playing on the professional beach volleyball tour for more than a year.

So, with my agent’s endorsement (sort of—I think she has fired me because of my insolence when it comes to not following publishing industry conventions) I present my three favorite trends of this year:

1. Cheating on your company will be okay. Companies will allow employees to do start-ups while they are full-time as a way of keeping top talent. Right now entrepreneurship is totally hot. A lot of people quit their job so they can do a start-up. Microsoft has officially allowed people to do a start-up while they work full-time. Other companies will follow.

2. Thieves will have to change tactics as people will leverage social media to track down and punish thieves. This is actually already happening. Check out this guy who snapped photos of someone using his stolen Macbook via his stolen Macbook. But the trend will become so big that people will have to resort to new tactics of thievery to avoid the public embarrassment of social media.

3. We will live in an era of eccentric collections. A few trends are converging right now. First, materialism is not cool. Gen X hates it, but also, post-crash America has revealed a new, credit-weary consumer. Second, content curation is a huge online right now — companies launching products that help people make sense of too much stuff. The convergence of these two situations will be that people shift their natural, human tendency to collect from the physical world to the virtual world, which means what we collect will expand.

Paul Hassing is a guy who sends me great links about collections. He’s the person who first told me about Pinterest, and he sent me a link to The Puddle Blog, which is a great collection of puddles.

I like that I got to spot three trends in one post. I notice this stuff and it starts burning in my head until I have the chance to tell someone. I can’t tell if I’m on target until I start telling someone. An audience makes a difference. Are you wondering if you have trends in your head that you’re right about?

How do you know if you’re working hard enough at it? Melissa is great at spotting trends for social media and for fashion (two areas I’m not good at). She is pretty difficult to work with, but she gets hired by random people to do random stuff, like tell them what social media tools will be best for attracting renters in rural areas in the next three years. Are you wondering what Melissa does with her days? She reads. She mostly reads off her iPhone, which she sleeps with. She reads so much that she has to have a stack of magazines wherever she is. Just in case. Here is what she was doing two hours ago:

Do you know what she’s doing right now? She’s thinking. She is staring at the wall. Probably processing all the stuff in her head. This is what most trendspotters do: look, listen, process. Of course other trendspotters get paid for doing it, but Melissa illustrates the point that it might be something you’re born with—the ability to spot trends. Because that kind of stuff that you’re born with is the stuff you do whether you are paid or not. (Would-be novelists please take note.)

I was talking to Tyler Cowen last year. Or the year before. Whenever it was that his book, Create Your Own Economy, came out. Before Business Week named him the world’s hottest economist, which, of course, makes me feel hot because I have spoken with the hottest economist in the world.

In fact, I have argued with him. Tyler was telling me that happiness is not that important to people—that some people just find pleasure in consuming information and ideas and they don’t need the trappings of happiness. First I told him he was crazy and maybe a sociopath and then I stole his idea and made it my own in my wildly popular post which I never acknowledged as perhaps a little bit stolen: Is your life happy or interesting? Anyway, Tyler is great at spotting trends, which makes him the world’s most interesting (is that what famous means?) economist and also a totally fun blogger. (Here’s his blog.)

Bottom line: you can bet that if you do not process information as a way to feel like you are alive, then you are probably not a trend spotter.

How do you know if you’re on to something? Remember that picture at the top of the post? Did you know what it was for? If you’ve had a baby, the answer is yes. The idea of a parent rocking next to a sleeping baby is so incredibly obvious that it’s amazing this chair has not been invented before. Parents get sick of holding a baby. You do not know this until you’ve had a baby of your own. So the chair is an absolute yes. It’s got great craftsmanship and it’s a great idea. Everyone will say yes to this chair. (And then people will say, how much? )

The way you know if you’re right or not is that you hear peoples’ reactions. Good ideas get two reactions:

One reaction is like when the proverbial light bulb goes on when the person hears or sees the idea. The idea is so on-target that it’s a pleasurable moment for the person who sees a piece in the jigsaw puzzle of life fitting into place.

The other reaction you can get to a good idea is shock: This is terrible, awful, upsetting, offensive. You know you’re on target with that reaction as well. Because you think it might be right, but it’s so counter-intuitive that people cannot see it’s right because they would have to switch their world view. I experienced this when I started saying that women should not report sexual harassment.

How do you know if what you’re saying is not new? You see confirmation that you’re right. It’s the kind of confirmation where you can tell for sure that the world agrees with you and you are right smack dab in the middle of a trend. Because if you’re right there with everyone else, then you’re not doing anything new.

I had that feeling when I looked at the New Yorker cover a few weeks ago. Just when I was settling into the idea of me being a city girl with a farmer’s wife life, I see that I’m a Park Slope cliche:

 

 

 

Posted in Finding a career
80 comments on “Are you a trend spotter?
  1. alan wilensky says:

    My first foray as a career change from being a highly skilled tradesman (electronics repair at the national warranty level, trainer, teacher), to the tech field (CD-ROM interactive service manuals), was greeted in 1991 as “the stupidest idea we have ever heard, none has a computer on their workbench, etc.” When the 110th pitch got this reaction, while the naysayer actually emphasized and punctuated his point by bending forward at the waist while saying, “the STUPIDEST idea” , I knew intuitively that I must have been onto something. And, I was.

  2. Paul Hassing says:

    Thanks very much for your kind mention, Penelope! I didn’t get that pic = no babies here. It looks like something the Shakers might have made. Best regards, P. :)

  3. Mike Dourgarian says:

    Are you really cool with having a someone’s street address in the magazine picture? It creeps me out.
    Besides that tiny complaint I like reading your stuff. Thanks for another excellent post.

    • Penelope Trunk says:

      Well, it’s Melissa’s street address, which is actually my street address. And my address is public information so that people can send me books and products they want me to write about. (FedEx comes to my house every single day.)

      You will be happy to know that I have published my address on this blog before — in text, which is more searchable than a photo — and nothing has happened to me.

      So I’m think I’m gonna be okay. But thank you for your concern.

      Also, hats off to my blog editor, Jay, who told me, after he read this piece, “You know someone is going to tell you that you shouldn’t publish your street address.”

      Penelope

      • Althea says:

        I love this post. And reply. Fun, funny, and informative read as always. Oh. And now that I have your address I’m going to write you a letter!

  4. Lisa says:

    Yes. Yes I am. From the Ford Taurus to a coming wave of all-black clothing. Wait for it.

  5. Adam Finlay says:

    I thought it was for a big tub of popcorn. No trend spotting for me. Though the bespoke popcorn home cinema rocking chair idea has merit. Lovely post, Penelope.

  6. Alison Green says:

    The greatest thing about Tyler Cowen (among many great things) is that he publishes a fantastically useful, opinionated, and hilarious guide to ethnic restaurants in the D.C. area:
    http://tylercowensethnicdiningguide.com/

  7. Deena McClusky says:

    I think your comments about content curation are dead on. A big part of the reason behind creating my online music site, Blind Carrot Magazine, a few years ago was my frustration with all of the websites trying to cram too much random information about every band on the planet with no regard to curating it, combined with a large amount of coverage designed solely to attract a higher volume of readers or make advertisers happy. My theory is that if you like one band in my magazine you will like all of them. It is a unified and cohesive view of great music through carefully created content. Does the fact that I latched onto curating content a long time ago mean I am ahead of the curve? I would like to think so.

  8. Duuude says:

    Duuude, wasn’t it Google that first allowed employees to work up to 20% of their time on personal, innovative side projects? As usual, MS just ripped it off…

    • Penelope Trunk says:

      Google owned whatever the person came up with during their experimental time. Microsoft is letting employees own the company they come up with.

      And, Google is notorious in the Valley for a place where people hang out collecting a paycheck while they look for a co-founder for their company, and then quit their job at Google. Which is exactly the problem we’re talking about.

      Penelope

  9. ADoodle says:

    Yep, figured out it was for a baby. But I wouldn’t buy it for the same reason I’ll never have a baby: it looks uncomfortable.

    • Mariane says:

      mmm… just add in your imagination a fluffy cushion, one or two of those furry longhaired merino rugs, or a very beautiful quilted blanket… set by the fireplace in winter or out on the patio a warm day next to it: a table in just exactly the right height with reading matters, hot cocoa or a refreshing lemonade… some croqueting work perhaps or something other gentle things to soothe your brain… the gentle movement and the cozy atmosphere bringing baby to a deep sleep and you to a very much needed rest… would go for it if i had a baby!

  10. Virginia says:

    I tend to be a trend setter. Not really into following what others are doing, I’m too busy doing whatever I feel like and what makes me happy. When I work for someone else I make myself indespensible by being generous on the job (and in my personal life) and support others in feeling good about themselves. Of course I am qualified at what I do and do the best job I can but making people feel good while I do a good job makes for some security in this unsecure world. At the very least, you have influenced positivity and I can always go back even when I move on to follow my passion. I always plan ahead and keep several irons in the fire. I never obligate for undefined periods of time and almost always I am asked to stay on when the project is over or asked to join a new project. For years I flew my airplane around the northern hemisphere, AK to the Caribbean and all points in between. For the last 15 years I sailed my yacht around the So Pacific working for regional airlines from french Polynesia to Fiji to Australia and New Zealand. When I decided to go back to the US to develop my farm it was just prior to the economic crash and the exchange rate was historically the highest ever in my favor so I sold my assetts and had working capital to get the farm back up and running. It was all by design and planning. To execute sustainable selfemployment in volatile industries you have to be a visionary/logistical tactician. Those are my trends.

  11. jenx67 says:

    PT,
    That chair is so ugly. How could it become a trend? And, it won’t fit into a corner. Otherwise, I depend on you to spot trends! You’re brilliant. Please tell me what the next wave of hair fashion is going to be. I miss spiral perms. I’m sick of the full weave; dark underneath, blonde streaks to cover the gray. I’m wondering with the release of Jackie Kennedy interview tapes this September, and the recently aired mini-series, The Kennedy’s, maybe class and reserve are going to come back into style along with more fixed, boofy hair. You rock, PT. I also want to point out that you were very early out of the gate framing the argument about the IMF guy/sexual harassment/assault scandal. That line you wrote about poor women with nothing to lose helping professional women is one of my all-time favorite things anyone has ever said.

  12. Aidan says:

    I think you are spot on with the content curation/eccentric collection trend. This is essentially what bookhashtags.com is a part of – the need to make sense of the overwhelming tidal wave of information swilling around in the Intertubes. We are curating a list of hashtags for books and also storing the conversations that happen around those books in a format that is easy to consume.

  13. Aidan says:

    Penelope – if you would like to add your book/hashtag you can, just go to http://bookhashtags.com/addbook – thanks!

  14. Twister says:

    They have motorized swinging and rocking bassinets…? There is also the bassinet on rockers you can just rock with your foot so you don’t have to be in a perpetual state of “soothing your baby” motion.

  15. Brad says:

    “Microsoft has officially allowed people to do a start-up while they work full-time.”

    Wrong, and the linked story doesn’t say that. Uncle Bill MAY tolerate an employee working on a startup – on his own time, and only if there is no conflict of interest. Hardly an official sanction for “cheating the company”.

  16. .Bryan says:

    Penelope, this has got to be your best story yet! I had been reading magazines like Melissa way back in the 70s, & 80s. At one point I was subscribing to 10 or 11 each month. I have been a huge fan of monitoring information all my life. Within the last 4 years Ray Kurzweil (the inventor of the scanner that reads books for the blind, and the Kurzweil Synthesizer) has been writing and talking about a new age coming…the age of Superintelligence, when artificial intelligence becomes a reality. And the age of infinite lifespan (immortality). He has been studying the rate of information change for the last 30 yrs and has been able to chart the geometric rate of information change to the point of being able to predict what technologies will reach specific landmarks with great accuracy. There’s alot of change coming Penelope, and it’s all happening very quickly. I believe that’s why so many have taken to writing blogs. It’s a way of dealing with the vastness of such change. Of coping with the excitement and perhaps scariness of it all. I’ve even thought about reseaching what it would take to open a museum here in connecticut in relation to this change. I think this article will be quite the motivator for people. It’ll make them look at their lives more closely and wonder how best they can fit into it. And that’s always a good thing!!!

  17. Diana says:

    Are they really collecting puddles, or just pictures of puddles?
    This reminds me of when I once ate at a Chinese restaurant, and instead of getting a fortune cookie, they handed me a small card with a picture of a cookie and some words below it that were supposed to be my “fortune”. Of course I felt a bit cheated.
    I consider myself a trend spotter as well, but am too slow to act on my spots. For example, I am certain that I invented the prevalence of soft-soap. it started with using baby soap in the shower in the 70s. This s just one example.
    So how does someone capitalize on their ability to spot?
    Ps I was excited to find the curious one’s blog as well, and it is fabulous!!

  18. Amy Parmenter says:

    i am a trend spotter. and a goldfish spotter. yum yum.

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

  19. CP says:

    Great article, but trend #2 has wider implications than catching thieves. The recent Vancouver Riots are a great example of how companies are recognizing the power of social media and protecting their reputation. People have not only lost their jobs over photos of their involvement being posted on the internet, but also over status updates condoning the actions of others involved in the riots. This is in addition to the family and friends that are identifying people involved in the riots through social media photos and reporting them to the Vancouver Police. This is what social justice looks like in the 21st Century.

    Here’s a link — notice how it is in the Business Section.

    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1013627–vancouver-rioters-got-rowdy-then-got-fired?bn=1

    For more informtation search ‘Vancouver Riot Social Media’

  20. Carl says:

    I saw the baby in the chair immediately, I think it will sell. When the pc first started being popular (Tandy) your readers probably don’t remember Tandy, and the modem was connected I saw it as a communication device immediately, not a data cruncher. Unfortunately I didn’t have a blog to talk about it.

  21. Yuse Lajiminmuhip says:

    I hope #1 becomes a trend in DC because we get constant press about being a backwards city in terms of startups (so many resources available one would expect DC to be a startup haven on the East Coast). I think the young people who are drawn to DC are naturally risk adverse, so the thought of launching a company without some sort of financial support is enough to prevent most good ideas from launching. However, if employers allowed “cheating,” as you put it, more people would take the plunge.

    I’m fortunate in that my employer is forward thinking and does not micromanage me as long as the work gets done. This means I have time to read (part of my job) and process. I’m not much for fashion or careers, but I consider myself good at spotting trends in science and technology.

  22. Patrick says:

    I’ve done curating and, to a lesser degree, trendspotting for years. Thanks for framing these activities like this – I never thought of it as a marketable skill before.

  23. ResuMAYDAY says:

    Seriously, I don’t understand the Melissa love. You’ve said in previous posts that she doesn’t help out with housework and now you’re saying she reads for hours at a time or stares at walls. I wish I had you around when I was a teenager. “No mom, I’m not a lazy useless slacker, I’m a TREND SPOTTER!”

    • MJ says:

      Yes, as a constant consumer I might be a trend spotter too, but Mom was always angry (as were my teachers because I was interested in MY stuff, not THEIR stuff). Employer doesn’t know and wouldn’t be happy either if it did, I’m sure.

  24. barbi says:

    I’m not a trend spotter, I’m a trend maker. An unintentional generator of designs that become trend icons. i am not alone in this, a trend is a small wave of the right stuff at the right time, generated by inspired few, that gets picked up by the culture, and trend spotters, therefore creating a second larger wave which the masses recognize as the “new trend”, which then gets picked up by mass marketing (and if applicable production) to be used for massive financial gain. It has become harder and harder for the true originator to capitalize on their ideas because the trend spotting machine is ahead of us, seeing a marketable trend when we’re still scratching our heads wondering if our “thing” is cool enough, wondering what we should be doing next, already bored with the idea, forever motivated by intangible inspiration. In our culture less than 1% is original and the rest is appropriation under the guise that to copy is paying the ultimate compliment, or even “homage”. (try and cry “that was originally my idea” and you get killed by incredulity, accused of arrogance, like “I am sure The GAP did it first!”)
    So.
    I’ve turned the tables. The motivation behind my new company, Plastic is Forever, is that it can only fulfill itself when copied and serves as inspiration to many many appropriators. Only then will I be happy and feel that I have achieved what I set out to do.

  25. Christy Barksdale says:

    Penelope,

    Thanks so much for including my content curation article in your post. The curation discussion started about a year ago, and has only picked up speed since. It was very cool to read your take on the topic.

    Thanks again!

  26. .Bryan says:

    What a great post Barbi! It is people such as yourself that move this world. I salute your efforts, your ingenuity, and your courage!!

  27. Lori says:

    Man. I’ve been stifling myself. I read all the time and then stare at walls! I started feeling guilty though because someone told me I should stop staring at walls and go volunteer somewhere. Which I did. Out of guilt.Which made me useless and the leaver-of-guilt-residue-on-everyone.

  28. .Bryan says:

    @Lori: Guilt residue? I love it!

    • Lori says:

      @.Bryan.

      Yes, as lovely as it sounds, once you’re the recipient of guilt residue, you’ll feel differently. Though it can be helpful as to keep oneself from volunteering when that just ain’t one’s bag.

  29. Brian says:

    Having spent many sleepless nights walking my kids back to sleep when they were young, I immediately saw the advantage of baby holder + rocker. My second thought was that this would be perfect for my dream vacation: rocking on a breezy porch somewhere in the mountains, reading a stack of books and magazines. The only addition would be a gimbal mounted holder on the opposite side – about the size of a can of beer.

  30. KateNonymous says:

    I knew exactly what that chair was for. It may help that I had a baby last year. But I’d never buy that. It takes up too much floor space for my small home, and when BabyNonymous was small enough for that, she hated lying on flat surfaces. For several months she slept on her concave changing pad (yes, it fit into something with sides so she wouldn’t roll off).

  31. renae says:

    Hi Penelope. Love the post, and like most other posters I have a comment about the baby rocker. I recognized what the chair was for, but had the reaction that this trend had missed the trend– there’s a backlash against the strollers, bouncy seats and car seats. Most parents aren’t going to buy an old-fashioned and large rocking chair, even if it’s clever and beautiful– an old fashioned rocking chair is a statement that you rock your child. Pet owners will like this.

    • KateNonymous says:

      You’re partially right, Renae, in that some people are part of a backlash against those things. Plenty of other people are using them. In fact, I don’t know anyone who isn’t, so it depends on who you ask. A trend isn’t universal, after all–the key is setting your expectations and goals accurately for the aspect of the trend that you’re targeting.

      • renaedujour says:

        We might be saying the same thing with a different outcome. :) I recognize that a lot of parents use strollers, car seats and bouncy seats to hold children. The upcoming trend is moving away from that. So I’m saying in the future there will be people who have an old-fashioned rocking chair in the nursery as a symbol of rocking the child. The side car messes up their impact. But yes,currently a lot of people are using these things. In my part of the country it’s become (like many parenting issues) a little judgey.

      • KateNonymous says:

        The question is, how big is the trend? Masses of people, or just a small group of noisy ones? (I don’t get the judging. With very few exceptions, what you do with your child has no effect on me, so why should I get up in arms about it?)

  32. Tzipporah says:

    “it’s amazing this chair has not been invented before.”

    You’re kidding, right? I thought the picture was of an antique – I’ve seen lots of these. But maybe it’s a Scandianvian thing?

  33. Erin says:

    My brother is a trend-spotter. He’s had an incredibly frustrating time getting people to buy into what he’s seeing and saying. But I think he’s reached the tipping point and people are starting to get it. Pretty exciting to watch.

  34. .Bryan says:

    @Lori,
    Volunteering has to come about naturally. I did it when it got me free psychotherapy sessions. I’d volunteer for 4 hrs a week as payment for each session. When the sessions weren’t working for me, and i began to feel that volunteering was taking to much of a chunk of my weekly time I nixed it all. No muss no fuss, no guilt, and no guilt residue ….live and learn Lori!

  35. Nicole says:

    Barbi,

    Great thoughts. I am quoting you and this post in a post I am writing on my art blog today. ihatetoalarmyou.blogspot.com

    Nicole

    • barbi says:

      Thank you Nicole, and thanks for the quote on your site, I will link my blog, Barbidoesmiami.wordpress, to it.

  36. Rapf says:

    The chair is beautifully and artistically made. But it’s lucidrous.

    For many, many generations people have made cradles. Beautiful, or just utilitarian.

    The mother (or father!) can sit in a rocking chair and rock the cradle with one foot. Easy.

    Making an entire chair-plus-cradle is wasteful and excessive.

  37. Lindsay Maines says:

    You are EXACTLY damn right. On pretty much all of it. I was just at Ford for 3 days with their futurist and a bunch of other folks, talking about the future and trends and how the past informs, because of the cyclical nature of so many aspects of nature, human and otherwise. I love the concept of collection of virtual objects as opposed to physical, and the millenial habit of stripping traditional aspirational brands of their power by mixing all levels of identifying talisman in their personas. And I love these kinds of conversations.

  38. Paul Hassing says:

    I just tracked down who put me on to Pinterest in the first place. As you were kind enough to cite me, I felt I should do likewise. It was the kind and impressive http://twitter.com/#!/ecokarenlee Nice one, Karen! :)

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I haven’t looked through the comments to make sure no one else has mentioned this-the rocker is styled in a ‘nanny rocker’ style. They’ve been around since the 1700’s. Just because it isn’t new doesn’t prevent it from trending now:
    http://daddytypes.com/2007/12/13/nanny_rockers_not_just_in_wicker_anymore_before.php

  40. Denise says:

    I love to process information too, but increasingly I’m starting to think that I should do something instead of reading so much (I’m not consultant). Maybe it’s not bad to live in a low information diet for a change.

    Your third trend is spot-on. I’d like to think that virtual collecting is pretty Gen-Y.

    That is one expensive chair!!

  41. Julie Murphy says:

    I also think you are spot on with content curation. Librarians have been doing this for centuries, except now there truly is an explosion of electronic information. The challenge for librarians is how to align our talents, skills, and even job titles with this trend. “Librarian” brings up the image of the ssh-ing matron who stamps books behind a desk when in reality, many of us are embedded in corporate teams making sense of intelligence data and grey literature. Also frustrating is that many folks don’t look beyond the first screen of Google results when doing a “comprehensive” search. That’s where we come in – to help people navigate and analyze content – whether it’s pictures of puddles or economic data.

    Right now the employment prospects for librarians (especially newly minted and without experience) are grim – _unless_ we start looking outside of traditional “librarian” jobs. If anyone out there is curious about librarians/information specialists in non-traditional jobs, check out http://www.sla.org (Special Libraries Association). I’ve been reading your posts for over a year and always find them interesting! Love your photography too.

    Julie Murphy

  42. .Bryan says:

    @Julie Murphy: I had looked into becoming a librarian when nursing didn’t work out for me but alas i found what you just noted, that librarians are just not valued. So instead I’m starting my own blog and going with the flow of what I do best. Noting all the interesting things I see and read about. And directing and sharing with others regarding all the new stuff coming down the pike.

  43. Laura-F says:

    You know about getting tired of holding babies when you have six younger brothers and three younger sisters, whether you have kids of your own or not.

  44. Heather says:

    I knew exactly what that rocking chair would be for, but I’d never seen one before. It is an amazing thought. I can’t say that I’m good at spotting trends, but I do usually have a stack of magazines next to me. Now I can think I might be onto something.

  45. Victoria says:

    I can totally relate to Melissa and her obsession with consuming information via magazines and online. I’m usually up late reading articles and blogs on just about every topic out there. Even found a way to get paid at work to read every single magazine that comes into the office (about 5/week) by writing an email summary to everyone in the office of interesting articles and products found in each magazine.

    Spotted the food truck/food in the landscape trend in 2005 and even wrote a thesis paper on it in 2007. Now it’s blowing up everywhere since 2008, but has probably reached its peak and will be dying down/evolving soon.

    My biggest problem is spotting trends before they become trends then getting really sick of them when they become too popular.

  46. downfromtheledge says:

    it seems to be more of a brilliant liability … some dummy would get up and leave their baby on that non-enclosed side and somehow the baby would end up on the floor and mommy would sue.

    are there rocking cribs? lol

  47. Mark W. says:

    It wasn’t explicitly mentioned in this post but definitely alluded to – spotting a trend needs to be accompanied by just the right timing because as the saying goes – timing is everything.

    • Penelope Trunk says:

      I’m not sure if it’s timing so much as action. I see in the comments that trend spotting is not actually that rewarding if you don’t leverage it to actually do something. In fact, seeing a trend early and doing noting might actually be a source of frustration rather than glee.

      Penelope

      • Paul Hassing says:

        That resonates. Eleven years ago I took a year off to write a 200,000-word speculative fiction novel. To my deep regret, I never got it published. Every now and then, one of my minor predictions more or less comes true. It’s very saddening. If I’d pulled my finger out, done the necessary editing and found an agent and publisher, I could’ve been a bloke who predicted stuff. Wells. Orwell. Asimov. Clarke. Hassing. Bummer. :(

      • Mark W. says:

        Okay, so now I’m thinking there’s two different ways to look at timing. Timing to spot the trend and timing to take action. I agree with what you said above about timing to take action. I also think it’s possible to do something too early in a spotted trend.
        I thought of timing to spot trends as being included in the post by the following – “How do you know if what you’re saying is not new? You see confirmation that you’re right. It’s the kind of confirmation where you can tell for sure that the world agrees with you and you are right smack dab in the middle of a trend. Because if you’re right there with everyone else, then you’re not doing anything new.” Actually now that I look at the last sentence the word ‘doing’ is included so that includes action. So now I’m thinking of timing as two distinctive processes.

  48. Joselle Palacios says:

    I don’t like the chair. It looks dangerous, like the baby would slip right out. I think an easier way to hold a baby without having to use your arms is to get a very trendy baby sling (not a carrier but a sling made of long cloth) and a rocking chair with an ottoman. Then you can rock, put your feet up, and let the baby rest on you. I’ve already told our parents to not get me a crib when we my husband and I have our baby. Because, well we are a trend in that we’ll be doing attachment parenting. So, I’d rather get a really expensive rocking chair set from the Land of Nod than a crib.

  49. Jack says:

    Alternatively, instead of focusing on new trends, you can always do the ‘old stuff’ well. So well that you become a star.

    Cuz at the end of the day, new stuff is fun, but people still need good plumbers and electricians!

  50. Michelle says:

    “process information as a way to feel like you are alive”

    Thank you for nailing it.

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