Carrie speaking at IEEE Wed, Sept 23, 6pm

September 21, 2015

Carrie Vanston presents Five Keys to the Innovative and Engaged and 5 Keys opening lock 7-21-15 new keys & tall letters smallerInnovative Culture IEEE Central Texas Consultants Network Wednesday, September 23, 6-8:30 pm PoK-e-Jo’s Smokehouse 2121 West Parmer Lane at Lamplight Village Avenue Austin, Texas 78727

Carrie Vanston, VP Communications at TFI, provides individuals and organizations five keys to create and grow engaged and innovative cultures that are cutting-edge, with strong purpose and the inclusion of all stakeholders. Such cultures are essential to succeed and thrive in the rapidly changing world we live in. Attendees will learn practical ways for staying ahead of the latest industry trends and creating caring environments that encourage high quality recruits, retainment of employees, happy customers, and greater productivity and profit.

Everyone is invited to attend! There is a $5 restaurant charge. No reservations necessary. Guests are encouraged to have a bite to eat at this excellent barbeque spot!


Carrie Vanston photoCarrie Vanston, is VP of Communications at Technology Futures, Inc. and the MiniTrends Project. She excels at helping clients create and grow cultures that encourage better retention, happier customers, and higher productivity and profit. She is co-author of the award-winning book MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends. Recent articles by Carrie have appeared in Texas CEO Magazine and the Austin Business Journal.


Meet John & Carrie at WorldFuture 2014 in Orlando

June 17, 2014

WorldFuture 2014, July 11-13, Orlando, FLMiniTrends’ leaders Dr. John Vanston and Carrie Vanston are excited to be conducting a day-long Pre-Conference Master Course at the World Future Society’s annual conference WorldFuture 2014: What If? Our Master Course, MiniTrends and Macro-Change: Turbo-Charging Your Future, also includes our co-presenter and long-time partner, the highly-esteemed futurist David Pearce Snyder and will be held on Thursday, July 10 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Mintirends Keynote Speaker: David Pearce Snyder, Futurist and Contributing Editor, The FuturistThis inspring day begins with David describing the changing world and the forces driving it. He helps you see the future through a matrix of many emerging trends – MiniTrends – that reflect the macro-changes that you must anticipate to be successful as the future unfolds.

Dr. John Vanston, Author, MINITRENDS, Carrie Vanston, Co-Author, MINITRENDS

Dr. John Vanston & Carrie Vanston
presenting Pre-Conference
Master Course at WorldFuture 2014

John and Carrie, authors of the award-winning book MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends, then provide you with the foundation for a strong MiniTrends process with seven ways for you to find, analyze, and profit from important minitrends and their potential business opportunities.

Participants will leave this course with an understanding of:

  • How predictable forces are rapidly reshaping our demography, economic structure, productive technologies, and decision-making processes.
  • How monitoring these forces can enable participants to identify and profit from emerging trends and attractive business opportunities.
  • How participants can apply the information, ideas, and insights presented in this course to guide their business, cause-related, personal, and investment decisions.

We hope you will join us in Orlando for WorldFuture 2014: What If? and our Pre-Conference Master Course: MiniTrends and Macro-Change: Turbo-Charging Your Future.

Register Now! MiniTrends 2014: Insight, Innovation & Strategy – Sep 26, Austin, TX

May 31, 2014

Minitrends-2014: Insight, Innovation & StrategyWe cordially invite you to attend the premier event for innovators, futurists, technologists, trendsetters, and blue sky thinkers, the 3rd Annual MiniTrends conference, MiniTrends 2014: Insight, Innovation & Strategy.

Dr. John H. Vanston, Chairman, Technology Futures, Inc.; MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology TrendsScheduled for September 26th, 2014, in beautiful downtown Austin, TX, this unique conference is in its third successful year of leading the conversation about innovation. Hosted by award winning author and renowned futurist, Dr. John Vanston, this one day event gives you the insight you need to stay innovative and to thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.

Mintirends Keynote Speaker: David Pearce Snyder, Futurist and Contributing Editor, The FuturistThe day begins with an inspiring keynote by highly regarded futurist David Pearce  Snyder describing the forces driving that environment, followed by keynote and feature presentations and expert panelists. All speakers are focused on getting you up to speed with the concept of minitrends and how you can use that knowledge to skyrocket your success into the future.

You’ll be provided lunch as well as have the opportunity to mix and mingle with conference attendees and speakers in an after-conference reception.

Minitrends 2014: Insight, Innovation & StrategyYou Will Gain:

INSIGHT: Discover what is coming up for your industry; be open to new ways of looking at things, and find strategies to innovate within your company!

CULTURE: See how in creating and nurturing a supportive culture for innovators to discover and apply innovative ideas, can be your “secret sauce” in seizing new markets and opportunities, and ultimately improving your bottom line.

STATEGY: Get the advantage of a MiniTrend Mindset and Strategy by attending this unique conference in innovative hot-spot Austin, Texas with direct interaction with Industry experts. 

If This is You, This Conference Is A MUST!

    • Analysts: Business, Marketing, Competitive, Market Acceptance
    • Development Managers: Technology, Strategy, Product, Delivery
    • Strategists: Technology, Business, Product, Partnerships, Channel
    • Research Managers: New Product, Technology, Science, Materials, Methodologies

Register now for MiniTrends 2014 and leave with a Concrete Strategy to
keep your organization innovative and successful!

 MiniTrends 2014 Conference - Eventbrite Registration

Take Advantage of Early Bird Rates!

Attendance includes Continental Breakfast, Breaks, Lunch followed by Reception!

MiniTrends a TangoTab Launch Party Partner – Jan 21, Austin, TX

January 18, 2014

TangoTab Austin Launch Party

TangoTab Austin Launch Party, January 21, 6-9 pm Goodnight Restaurant 2700 W. Anderson, Austin, TX

MiniTrends is excited to be a partner at the TangoTab Launch Party on Jan. 21, 6-9 pm, at The Goodnight Restaurant in Austin, TX. TangoTab is a start-up offering a free app that gives a free meal to a local food bank for every discount offer redeemed at a partner restaurant. With 1000+ restaurant partners in Dallas and other cities, TangoTab is now launching in Austin and soon in Houston.

According to Carrie Vanston, TFI/MiniTrends’ VP of Communications, “TangoTab’s signature line ‘When you eat, they eat,’ perfectly represents the MiniTrends philosophy of using your expertise and passions to make a living, while also making a positive difference in the world.”

TangoTab Founder/CEO and  MiniTrends 2013 Conference panelist Andre Angel adds “We have created a win-win-win model where diners save money, restaurants get traffic when they need it, and the hungry have a meal, too.”

Join us in welcoming Tango Tab to Austin! Get the free Tango Tab app on your smart phone. Enter our Partner Code “MINI” at bottom of page when signing up. Remember “When you eat, they eat!”

RSVP for the party on Facebook or Eventbrite. There’ll be great food, a band, and lots of fun! We look forward to seeing you there.

Warm regards,
The TFI/MiniTrends Team

TFI Technology Forecasting Workshop – Jan 28, Austin, TX – Learn from the Experts

January 9, 2014

Technology Forecasting Seminar - Jan. 28, 2014Those who can forecast the future, can own the future. Join us January 28 in popular downtown Austin, Texas for our TFI Technology Forecasting SeminarLearn the methods we’ve used successfully in our forecasting work and minitrends activities for 35 years. Our track record is excellent. Let technology forecasting aces Dr. Lawrence Vanston and Dr. John Vanston teach how you, too, can make beautiful forecasts.

TFI Asset Valuation Conference PhotoWe will cover forecasting technology trends and substitutions, practical forecasting tips and how to judge a forecast. We’ll also cover qualitative forecasting methods including expert opinion methods, alternative scenarios and ideation.
We also have a great session on technology forecasting applications for communications, energy and high tech.
For the last session, you choose between “Ideation with MiniTrends” with a practical Impact Wheel exercise and “Depreciation and Valuation Applications of Forecasting.”
In addtion to Larry and John,  Robert Harris, who just joined TFI as a Senior Consultant after working as VP, Network Planning and Architecture at Time Warner Cable for many years, and Carrie Vanston, our VP, Communications, will be presenting at the seminar.
We start at 1:00 p.m. and finish at 6:15 p.m., followed by a reception. Our TFI Communications Technology Asset Valuation Conference starts the next day.
See below or visit TFI Technology Forecasting Seminar for more information 
and to register for this exciting event. Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 1:00-6:15 pm
Radisson Hotel & Suites Downtown Austin, Texas

This seminar provides an excellent overview of the technology forecasting methods and techniques applicable to to fields such as communications, energy, information technology, consumer electronics and high-tech. The most important quantitative and qualitative tools are covered, with an emphasis on practical understanding and practical examples.

You Will Learn About:

  • What Technology Forecasting Is and Why It’s Important
  • Forecasting Technology Substitution and Adoption
  • Expert Opinion Methods and Impact Wheels
  • Practical Forecasting Tips and Evaluating Forecasts
  • Forecasting Technology Trends
  • Technology Forecasting Applications: Communications, Energy and High Tech
  • Ideation with MiniTrends and Impact Wheels
  • Depreciation & Valuation Applications of Forecasting

Organizations Who Should Attend

  • Communications Companies (Telecom, Cable, Longhaul, Wireless, etc.)
  • Equipment Manufacturers (Communications, Energy, Semiconductors, Computers, etc.)
  • Energy Companies (Electric Power, Oil and Gas, etc.)
  • Information Technology Companies (ISPs, Data Centers, Content Providers, etc.)
  • Government Agencies (Regulators, Tax Assessors, etc.)
  • Other High Tech Industries (Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare, Transportation, etc.)

Business Segments who should attend:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Network Planning
  • Technology Planning
  • Finance
  • Market Development
  • Regulatory / Tax / Legal
  • Depreciation and Assessment

SEMINAR REGISTRATION Standard Rate: $250 Government Rate/Assessor/Academic Rate: $150 Student Rate: $75


Downtown Austin PhotoRadisson Hotel & Suites Downtown, 111 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 473-1544, On the shores of Lady Bird Lake, the hotel is a couple of blocks from Austin’s famous 6th Street and near the Texas State Capitol, the University of Texas and other popular Austin sites. A limited block of rooms is being held under “Technology Futures” until January. 13.                                                  (photo source: Radisson)

Register for TFI Technology Forecasting Seminar


Further information: Please see links above or contact Helen Mary Marek at (512) 258-8898, or

MiniTrends 2013 New Keynote IBM Director Dr. Jani Bryne — Oct. 2, Austin, TX

September 20, 2013

MiniTrends 2013 Conference Keynote - Jani Byrne, Director, IBM

Dr. Jani Byrne, Director of Global Mid-Market Marketing at IBM, joins MiniTrends 2013 as Keynote

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jani Byrne, Director of Global Mid-Market Marketing at IBM, has joined us as Morning Keynote at Technology Futures2nd annual MiniTrends 2013: The Integration of Profit & Social Responsibility. She will be speaking on “The Next Generation IT Innovations and What’s in it For You.”

Dr. Byrne is a visionary who marries deep technological innovations and insights with a profound understanding of human and market psychology. She is an extraordinarily passionate thought leader who can also simply “get stuff done.”

In her present position, Dr. Byrne is responsible for end-to-end marketing strategies and plans for Mid-Market and Large Enterprise clients, across IBMs hardware / software / services portfolio, leading IBMs focus on Managed Service Providers worldwide. Previous positions have included Director of Strategy, where she created industry-leading strategies impacting IBM STG’s direction and activity, and Director of the IBM Venture Capital Group, where she was strategic liaison to the global Venture Community resulting in significant net profit to IBM.

In addition to her long distinguished career at IBM, Dr. Byrne is a Board Member of The Seton Fund at the Seton Family of Hospitals and Board Member of Austin Chamber of Commerce Technology Partnership.

Minitrends 2013 Conference LogoConference Chair Dr. John Vanston, Chairman of Technology Futures and author of the award-winning book, MINITRENDS, notes “With Dr. Byrne’s broad knowledge and experience relating to past, current, and future trends, she brings a great deal of value to conference attendees looking for practical ideas and opportunities relating to their areas of interests. We are excited to learn more about ways we can find and take advantage of MiniTrends she sees on the horizon.”

Dr. Byrne, entrepreneur whiz Gary Hoover, and 19 other visionaries & thought-leaders will share leading-edge business ideas and what they see as MiniTrends–big opportunities not yet widely recognized–at MiniTrends 2013 on October 2-3 at the Holiday Inn Town Lake in Austin, TX. Please join us!

Austin-based Technology Futures, Inc. is celebrating its 35th year of providing top-quality custom studies and technology forecasts on key trends to a wide variety of commercial, government, and academic organizations since 1978.


Free MiniTrends RISE Conference Session – Austin, TX, Tues., May 14, 4-5:30 pm

May 10, 2013

RISE Austin Un-Conference

RISE Conference 

Presents a free session with

Dr. John H. Vanston
Carrie Vanston 

MiniTrends: How to Discover & Profit From Business & TechnologyTrends

Tuesday, May 14, 2012, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Lake Creek Office Park Meeting Room, 13740 Research Blvd., Austin, Texas 78750

Sign Up Now!

In this presentation, award winning author Dr. John H. Vanston, Chairman, and Carrie Vanston, Marketing Director, Technology Futures, Inc. discuss MiniTrends — the concept that helps you find and act on great ideas by inspiring a creative mindset and providing a practical process for discovering and exploiting emerging trends that will become significantly important within 2-5 years.

Attendees learn and practice:

  • How and where to search for MiniTrends.
  • How to evaluate the business attractiveness of a MiniTrend.
  • How to develop an effective MiniTrend Exploitation Scheme.
  • How to turn the scheme into a profitable business opportunity.

You should attend if you are:

  • An Entrepreneur wishing to identify, assess, and exploit attractive new business opportunities.
  • An Executive, Director, Manager, or Professional seeking to take advantage of important emerging trends.
  • An Innovative Thinker interested in gaining recognition for originality and perceptiveness.
  • An Investor interested in uncovering attractive new investment opportunities.
  • A Job Seeker wishing to define emerging employment possibilities.

Participants will leave with a solid basis for developing their own “MiniTrends Mindset.”

MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology TrendsThe presentation is based on John’s more than 30 years of experience in identifying and applying technical, social, and business trends and the book MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends authored by John and Carrie.

Sign Up for the RISE MiniTrends Session Now!

Directions: Go north on Hwy 183, take the Lake Creek Blvd. exit and do a u-turn under 183, go a short distance and turn right into the Lake Creek Office Complex (just past Chase bank). You will run directly into the meeting room building which is in the center of the complex. Meeting room entrance is on the left side of the building. (Note: there are 2-3 steps at the entrance of the building.)

Dr. John Vanston, Author, MINITRENDS, Carrie Vanston, Co-Author, MINITRENDS

RISE is a non-profit program whose cornerstone is its annual “un-conference” — scheduled May 13-17 this year — in which seasoned entrepreneurs and experts volunteer to host small-group sessions on any topic of their choice at any location of their choice throughout Austin. Sessions are free and limited to 25 to promote a highly collaborative experience.

Dr. John Vanston and Carrie Vanston visit “Be a Beacon”

April 10, 2013

I hear you - The Be a Beacon show, Hosted by David Cohen

I hear you – The Be a Beacon show, Hosted by David Cohen

Dr. John Vanston and I visited “Be a Beacon” last month and discussed with host David Cohen how to start new ventures or grow established organizations through attention to MiniTrends: emerging trends that will soon become important, but are not yet widely recognized. In the interview, we talk about how innovators and entrepreneurs can create a mindset and process for initial idea generation and techniques to analyze and exploit the resulting opportunities.

John is Chairman of Technology Futures, Inc, and the author of the award-winning book, MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends. He chairs TFI’s MiniTrends 2013 Conference.

I am Media & Marketing Director, Technology Futures, Inc., co-author of MINITRENDS, and director of TFI’s MiniTrends 2013 Conference.


Thanks, David, for being a great host. Love your positive attitude and fun doodles!

Host, Artist, and Brand Therapist, David Doodleslice Cohen, discusses personal branding, crweativity and the life of small business owners in the age of social information. The show features, ideas, opinions, and visits by guests who have built unique businesses or are experts in their fields. Visit David’s doodle-filled world at

“Mini Matters–an Interview with John Vanston of Technology Futures on Looking for ‘MiniTrends'” by Rick Docksai for “The Futurist”

March 30, 2013

Dr. John H. VanstonCheck out the nice interview with Dr. John Vanston entitled  “Mini Matters–an Interview with John Vanston of Technology Futures on Looking for ‘MiniTrends” by Rick Docksai for The World Future Society’s The Futurist. In the article John stresses the importance of looking for  minitrends, emerging trends that will soon become important, but are not yet generally recognized, vs. megatrends, which are so large, they are often difficult for all but the largest companies to take advantage of. Minitrends, on the other hand, offer great opportunities to those that are smart and perceptive enough to discover and take advantage of them.

John also discusses how the focus of media and futurists are evolving in fundamental ways.

Turn on Automated Alerts to Tune Out Information Overload When Monitoring Trends

December 12, 2012

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Part Two of a Two-Part Series by Guest Blogger Steve Pearson, Visionex Solutions, LLC

Automated alerts can help you stay competitive with real-time data about very specific subjects, technologies, authors and/or companies. Customizing state-of-the-art reports and automated alerts based on client-specified criteria are essential elements of my business, but there are some out-of-the box resources you may find useful.

Automated alerts can reduce your scanning time by notifying you about newly published information. For example, Google Alerts monitors a large portion of the web and emails you anything it considers relevant. Of course, you may not agree with Google’s version of “relevant” and you‘ll still spend valuable time scanning and sorting.

Fortunately, there are other many automated alerts. Setting each one up to deliver quality information and avoid overload is important.

Technical Alerts deliver bibliographic information regarding newly published research papers, dissertations and conference proceedings – if it meets your specified criteria. The data for these alerts originate from databases such as Compendex, which is one of the largest in the scientific field, currently indexing 1,031 journals from around the world. These alerts use the bibliographic information to provide tailored results.

Patent Alerts are keyed to patent and patent application information from around the world. For example, many companies like to know when a key competitor files patent applications or receives a granted patent.

RSS Alerts are different from RSS Readers because they allow you to “mine” the RSS streams of your choice for keywords that you consider important.

Web Page Alerts are simple in concept but they are extremely useful since they monitor a specific url for changes. Anytime the page changes you will receive a notification and that notification will allow you to view the new page changes highlighted. These alerts are especially valuable for monitoring product announcements from competitors, really long governmental pages or working groups.

Table of Contents (TOC) Alerts send you the TOC information for specific publications, typically weeks or months in advance of the publication date. These alerts are valuable not only for their speed but also because you can quickly glance through each TOC and purchase only those publications that are appealing. (And save money on subscriptions and/or memberships.)

Social Alerts typically monitor sites like Facebook, blogs and Twitter for keywords.

Government Alerts help keep you apprised of recently published research sponsored by the Federal Government and announcements of new solicitations of bids.

Business and Market Alerts are great because companies are constantly marketing themselves by making product announcements. Further, most market research companies will announce their newest reports covering specific industries or companies.

Trademark Alerts allow monitoring of specific company’s applications, monitoring your own trademarks for potential infringement or monitoring for key terms that you define.

Domain Alerts monitor new domain name registrations so that you can learn about new and potentially problematic names.

Many companies find that the best way to control their time and expense with Alerts is to hire an intermediary that not only has access to the services that charge money but also knows how to set them up properly.

Guest blogger Steve Pearson is a consultant helping companies accelerate innovation and product development. Through his firm Visionex Solutions, LLC, he delivers competitor-busting research with tools and reports he has developed over his career as an engineer, trainer and analyst.

Steve specializes in intellectual property management, technology identification and market assessment and takes pride in applying lessons from his broad background to help those in the electrical, mechanical, energy, construction or transportation industries. Visit  his site  for more information.