Learn how MiniTrends can improve your business
situation, financial standing, and personal satisfaction.
Highlights of the award-winning book:
by Dr. John H. Vanston
with Carrie Vanston
In 1982, John Naisbitt published the book Megatrends, describing ten overarching trends that would “define our society.” Today, more than two decades later, many of those trends are still relevant: our transformation from an industrial society into an information society, from a national economy to a world economy, and from a representative democracy to a participative demography.
Naisbitt’s insights sensitized us to the emergence of new Megatrends: the rise of China as a major and growing economic power, the convergence of computing and communications technologies, the movement from a Physics Age to a Biology Age, our increasing awareness of the impacts of climate change, increased government intervention into the financial arena, new long-term energy shortages, the aging of populations in many of the world’s most prosperous nations, and they just keep coming.
Even though all of these Megatrends have important implications for individuals, companies, and governments throughout the world, they are generally well-recognized and understood. Therefore, these overarching Megatrends offer little competitive advantage to specific individuals or businesses. Yet buried within each of these Megatrends are less obvious emerging trends, which I call “MiniTrends.”
MiniTrends go hand-in-hand with Megatrends, but are harder to spot. Within the Megatrend of an aging population, for example, are the MiniTrends of people remaining active in the workforce for longer periods of time and increasing movement of elderly individuals to smaller nursing centers. Within the Megatrend of convergence of computing and communications technologies are the MiniTrends of virtual lives and interactive Web platforms. Within the Megatrend of long-term energy shortages are MiniTrends of increased electrification of industrial processes and the development of advanced digital machines.
There are, of course, many MiniTrends emerging that have little or no relationship with a Megatrend. These include trends such as the increasing participation in virtual-worlds, the increasing number of people working at home, and the development of new approaches to the giving and receiving of advice based on information technology advances.
Megatrends normally fall under the aegis of governments and large international corporations; MiniTrends, on the other hand, often have relevance to wider audiences. We define MiniTrends as emerging trends that will become significantly important in 2-5 years, but that are not yet widely recognized or appreciated by the general public or most large companies. Employing the principles of Minitrend application can provide you with significant professional and personal advantages if you are alert enough to recognize emerging MiniTrends, clever enough to realize their significance, and talented enough to take full advantage of the opportunities that they represent.
The following suggestions are shown to assist you in recognizing, evaluating and exploiting attractive MiniTrends.
Searching for MiniTrends
- Follow the Money
- Follow the Leaders
- Examine Limits
- Consider Human Nature
- Take Note of Demographics
- Analyze Frustrations
- Search for Convergences
Where to Search for MiniTrends
- Utilize Published Sources
- Utilize Electronic Resources
- Engage Key Associations
- Establish Social Networks
- Examine Patents and Patent Applications
- Review Ph.D. Dissertations
- Pay Heed to Television
- Examine the Platforms of Losing Presidential Candidates
Selecting a Minitrend for Exploitation
- Examine the Overall Attractiveness of the Minitrend to the Business Community
- Examine the Overall Attractiveness of the Minitrend to You Personally
- Compare Different Minitrend Possibilities
Developing a Minitrend Exploitation Scheme
- Characteristics of Groups Developing the Exploitation Scheme
- Developing an Effective Exploitation Scheme
- Employment of Alternate Scenario Techniques
- Identifying the Necessary Tasks
Putting the Exploitation Scheme into Action
- Identify Market Needs
- Determine the Special Features of the Minitrend
- Convince Potential Customers of the Value of the Minitrend’s Special Features
- Carefully Consider How Your Product or Service Will be Marketed
- Look for Opportunities to Take Advantage of Convergences
- Carefully Define and Evaluate Relevant Drivers and Constraints
- Examine Analogous Situations
- Engage Allies and Supporters
- Be Flexible
- Remember There Are Other Smart People in the World
- Stay Healthy
- Always Apply a “Sanity Test” at Each Stage of the Exploitation Process
MiniTrends followers are dreamers looking for adventure, and commitment to the MiniTrends concept can make the adventure intriguing, exciting, and lucrative. Buying into the concept encourages the adoption of a mindset that opens our imagination, creativity, and curiosity in order to make the most of our circumstances and distinguish ourselves from others. We hope the thoughts above will inspire you to commit to a “Minitrend Adventure” of your own!
This article presents some of the highlights of the new book MINITRENDS: How Entrepreneurs & Innovators Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends by Dr. John Vanston with Carrie Vanston. The book instructs entrepreneurial-minded individuals, executives and decision-makers in small and medium size companies, and innovative people in large companies, in how to identify and evaluate promising new business opportunities. The book also has several chapters devoted to interesting MiniTrends.