Pattern spotters are usually enthusiastic about new technologies. They should be enthusiastic about human mother nature. To determine what’s coming next, give attention to what never changes. I actually very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next ten years ? ‘ I almost never find the question: ‘What’s not going to difference in the next 15 years? ‘ And i also submit to you that second question is actually the more important of the two — as you can build a business strategy throughout the things that are steady in time. In our retail business, we know that customers want affordable prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. It’s impossible to imagine a future in which a customer comes up and says,
‘SandyI love Amazon; I simply wish the prices were somewhat higher, ‘ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I simply wish you needed deliver a bit more slowly. ‘
We can’t read that not having thought of the trend spotter’s — or the entrepreneur’s — limitless quest to see exactly what is coming next in business and consumerism. Because even when it comes to problem, ‘what’s going to change within the next 10 years? ‘, you generate the most powerful answers keeping at least one vision on what definitely will not change.
New consumer trends are made away of two fundamental building blocks: change and basic human needs. When We say basic human needs, I mean things such as security, connection, value, distraction, convenience, fun, and more.
These types of needs are stable 10 years on decade, century on century. They’re an important part of our character. They’re never going away.
Here’s how new styles, change, and basic needs relate to one another: new trends emerge when some change in the world — a brand new technology, a new economical instant, a new attitude, whatever — unlocks some new way of serving a basic human need.
Genuinely new ways to provide a basic human need are rare. Most of the products and services you interacted with today served some basic human being need of yours. Yet they made it happen in an old way.
The easiest method to place the new ways is merely to look at the innovations — new products, services, apps, platforms and more — entering the marketplace now and ask: will this serve a basic human need in a new way?
And to do that, you need obsessed with basic individuals needs. With the critical aspects of our mother nature that will never change.
Often when an prominent innovation comes along, it can pretty easy to understand the change in the world that is fuelling it. In addition difficult, but crucial if you are going to spot significant trends, is seeing the basic human need at work.
For example, take Boltt. It’s an American indian startup creating an environment of wearable devices linked by an AI that will crunch the customer’s data and offer personal wellness advice.
Also consider Google Goals, a new feature in Google Calendar that uses AI to intelligently schedule self-improvement activities. Goals can understand your schedule and will help you choose the best times to practise the violin, do your stomach crunches, or read another chapter of Kant. Miss a session and it will intelligently reschedule for you, learning more about you over time.
And then there’s AVA, an app that lets you snap a picture of the food you’re eating so that it can use machine learning to analyze that picture and surface relevant nutritional information.
What’s the recent change fueling all three of these innovations? Easy: it’s AI.
It’s tempting to obsess over the exciting new tech in play, stop there and say: hey everyone, gather round — AI is a big trend for 2017!
But ‘there will be AI in the months and years ahead’ is an observation about the world that, taken alone, is of little use. So what? What does that mean? What should I do about it?
If you want to speak the language of trends, I guess you can say that ‘AI’ is a tech trend. But the really powerful trends, the trends that tell you something meaningful about the future and what you should do now, are trends in human behaviour and expectation. And to spot those, you need to curb the obsession with new tech and get obsessed with basic human needs.
In the case of the three examples above, there’s a basic human need linking all three. That is: self-improvement. All three examples put AI to work to serve the eternal human quest to be better — healthier, fitter, more skilled, and so on.
Identify that crucial building block and those three examples allow you to spot a hugely powerful new trend. AI is unlocking a truly new way to serve the age-old human need that is self-improvement. In the years ahead, consumers will remain as obsessed with self-improvement as humans have always been. And they will become ever-more aware of the power of AI to help them. And that means they’ll turn to AI to supercharge their fulfilment of this basic human need in all kinds of ways.
It’s a trend we first spotted a while back; we called it Motivated Mindlessness.
Unlike the tech trend that is ‘AI’, the consumer or human trend that is Motivated Mindlessness is a hugely powerful one for innovators. Spot it and you can immediately start asking yourself questions that can lead you to your next innovation. What are my customers trying to get better at? Where would they expect us to help them? What would it look like if my brand put AI to work to supercharge their self-improvement?
So remember, these days it’s easy to obsess over new tech. That’s fine, but everyone can see the big tech trends, and taken alone they tell us little. To spot the powerful emerging trends that will fuel your next innovation, get obsessed with human nature. Look for the innovations that are leveraging new tech to serve basic human needs that will never change.
And then get to the really important part — applying trends. Ask: what would it look like if we did that?