So what’s with the title?
“A non-obvious trend is a unique, curated observation about the accelerating present.”
Author Rohit Bhargava and his team spend the year scouring all sorts of sources to discover these observations about the accelerating present. I like the definition and the method as it is not predictions of trends 20 years from now but predictions for the upcoming year based upon what has been accelerating.
Not only does the book contain trend predictions, Rohit also goes back and analyzes his previous predictions and grades them on how well they did or didn’t play out. It’s a great and humble exercise that also helps the reader see what has and hasn’t worked in the recent past. And in looking at the past lists, you’ll see how many trends you’ve seen and how they were accurately described here.
Here were two of my favorite trend predictions for this year:
Side Quirks – A global shift toward individualism drives people to follow their passion, start a side business, and appreciate quirks in one another.
This was an interesting insight. As countries we typically consider to be collectivist trend towards individualism, we’ll start seeing more of these side quirks/businesses. I loved the description of the side hustle by Catherine Baab-Muguira as noted in this chapter:
…your side hustle can be like a lottery ticket, offering the possibility–however remote–that you just might hit the jackpot and discover that holy grail of gigs. The one that perfectly blends money and love.
This Books of Titans project is a side quirk of my own.
RetroTrust – Often unsure of whom to trust, consumers look back to organizations and experiences with brands that have a legacy, or those with which they have a personal history.
I thought a lot about the company I first worked for while reading this chapter. My first job out of college was with Russell Corporation, a brand with a tremendous All-American heritage and a reputation for quality apparel. They squandered all of that in a period of a few decades and now sell at base prices at Wal*Mart. They are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this trend.