Brand flippers, connectomes and the doorway effect

Welcome to this 8th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We also have a club on Clubhouse and discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST .

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look at the future.

Share Weak signals and other trends


Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

‘Sometimes the answer is to do nothing’: unflashy French duo take architecture’s top prize. Amazon becomes the top clothing retailer in the U.S., outselling Walmart, Target, Gap and others. Seafood fraud happening on a vast global scale. Synthetic Media — What it is and why it’s important. SpaceX moves to beam Starlink internet into trucks, boats, and aircraft. How Will The Explosion of Social Audio Impact B2B Influencer Marketing? Nordstrom launches livestream selling.

Not familiar with the notion of strategic blindspots? Here is an article we wrote about blindspots for the World Economic Forum.

Our future

The rise of private wireless explained. Autonomous Delivery Robots Are Now ‘Pedestrians’ in Pennsylvania. Your Face Is Not Your Own. Why SPACs Are the New IPO. The next generation of everything. Am I my connectome? Scientists developed a clever way to detect Deepfakes by analyzing light reflections in the eyes. The start-up that believes planes should fly themselves. Summers could last half the year by the end of this century. New Theoretical Warp Engine Brings Us Closer To Travel At The Speed Of Light. What Covid has told us about remote work. Garmin Embeds Alexa Custom Assistant in Car Infotainment System. France Becomes The First Country to Ban All Five Pesticides Linked to Bee Deaths. This AI Uses Your Brain Activity to Create Fake Faces It Knows You’ll Find Attractive. Amazon Expands Effort to ‘Gamify’ Warehouse Work.

We keep you informed as we spot other disruptive trends on Twitter.

Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Brand flippers: Thrasio, which recently raised $750 million in financing is one among dozens of firms snapping up successful Amazon brands for millions of dollars. The Top Consumer Marketplaces have changed during Covid: two new categories for ticketing and childcare market places. The mushroom economy takes off. Charmin Debuts Toilet Paper NFTs. Facebook Is Building An Instagram For Kids Under The Age Of 13. Hunting for a PS5 has become an entire subculture. Artist Krista Kim sells “first NFT digital house in the world” for over $500,000.

Join us on Clubhouse at 9AM EST tomorrow to discuss how to interpret some of those weak signals.For those who missed it, we will have this 60mns morning discussion each Saturday at 9am EST ( look for @competia or follow our club “Trends! And weak signals”). Here is a summary of our conversation last week.

On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what happened this week:

Building scenarios: most companies are revamping their strategic plans to incorporate the current uncertainty and move away from forecasts. Here are some tools I have scouted for them: A futures scenario builder. Disruption decade. The World Economic Forum interactive risk mapGapminder’s interactive map to chart pretty much any macro-economic data.

Map your network: I am finalizing a training program for a client on how to develop primary sources of information to collect or confirm strategic intelligence: How we used to be able to visualize our network on LinkedIn. Analyze your network in social media. How To Visualize Your Facebook Friend Network. Hack and download the Linkedin API for Python. An app to modelize your social network connections.

Hodgepodge discovery

Sparkling coffee. The first computer. What falling robots reveal about the absurdity of human trust. Age of Invention: Where Be Dragons? Weet is an asynchronous video communication for remote teams. Why retro-looking games are getting so much love . This company reportedly lost $3.2B in 2020 and is working toward going public in a SPAC deal at a $9B valuation- what could go wrong? We like the “Lego Stories”.

The Weird ‘Doorway Effect‘:

“If the brain thinks it is in a different context, then those memories belong in a different network of information”

I also like to track new words and this week, I discovered blobs: This Brainless, Single-Celled Blob Can Make Complex ‘Decisions’.

Feeling good

Take a walk around a bunch of different cities, pick the radio station, the mode of transport, and the time of day. “World’s first full-scale ship tunnel” gets go ahead to be built in Norway and it’s beautiful.


Subscribe to Trends! And Weak Signals newsletter

Subscribe on Substack