Hybrid hospices,xenobots and fandoms

Welcome to this 9th 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 discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

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


Competitive Intelligence

We are focusing this week on a series of tools that competitive intelligence teams are using:

Hexowatch , a powerful site surveillance tool to monitor any website for visual, content, source code, technology, availability, or price changes. Ricochet helps you complement the information you have about prospective B2B prospects. A reverse image searchFindings has been discontinued, it used to allow you to combine all your research in one place. Cars Have Your Location. This Spy Firm Wants to Sell It to the U.S. Military. Brave acquires search engine to offer the first private alternative to Google Search. The UK is secretly testing a controversial web snooping tool. The 450 pages report by The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. GCHQ releases ‘most difficult puzzle ever‘ in honour of Alan Turing .


Blindspots

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

Does your social media presence create a news’ blindspot? How to Run a Business in 2020. Amazon Live is becoming a destination for big product launches. The World’s First Programmable Organism. America’s Top Farmland Owner. The World’s Most Searched Consumer Brands. Billions in secretive derivatives ($). Whistleblower: Ubiquiti Breach “Catastrophic”. Morningstar unleashes robots to write fund research100 billions for chips.


Our future

AI Can Now Debate with Humans and Sometimes Convince Them, Too. Hybrid hospices: Could hotel, home and office soon be one space? Customer advisory boards. America’s long-ailing manufacturers are fired up. This noggin-reading gadget plays songs based on your brain waves. Chilean city installs cabins in park as offices for small businesses. Evidence of brand new physics at Cern. This AI Uses Your Brain Activity to Create Fake Faces It Knows You’ll Find Attractive. How the rise of ‘digital nomad’ visas will drive the global battle for talent. The rise of cyborg art dealers.


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 an hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Sotheby’s Rakes in $176 Million in a Global, Five-Hour Franken-Sale. We are all that boat now. The Dark Web Is Teeming With Vaccine Listings Right Now. Coded Bias is the ‘Inconvenient Truth for Algorithms.’ and it’s coming to Netflix on Apr 15. Unfolding the math of origami. A new fashion trend: tops you can get vaccinated in. Shake Shack trials cutlery and straws made by microbes out of greenhouse gases. How you signal you’re single. Ex-Gap CEO Art Peck launches $200M SPAC, Cayman island located. Burger Restaurant Poses Food As Office Supplies So You Can Expense Your Lunch. Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoe’ — made with one drop of human blood — sold out in under a minute. Stanford Scientists Reverse Engineer Moderna Vaccine, Post Code on Github. When bicycles and fryers meet ( in French)


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 I worked on this week:

Governance in 2021 and beyond: I am finalizing a training curriculum for the large institutional shareholder for their nominee directors, and reviewed what will be on board’s agendas in 2021-2025: Solarwind creates a new cybersecurity-specific committee in the boardroom. The state of Enterprise Risk Management in Canada. Principles for Board Governance of Cyber Risk by the World Economic Forum.

Social media awakensI am updating our course “Social Media for Competitive Intelligence” and have tracked this week many new announcement and new functionalities: Dickie Bush unveils hidden Twitter functionalities. LinkedIn adds “a Creator Mode. Slack is getting new audio features. LinkedIn confirms it’s working on a Clubhouse rival, too. So is Discord.


Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind which likes to cross over to new fields:

The Royal Charter Gale and the world’s first National Forecasting Service. The largest collection of passion economy resources . The Strange Reason You’ll Always Weigh Less in Canada Than Anywhere Else. Microsoft PowerPoint can now coach you – and help you practice presentations almost anywhere — no humans required. What happens to our cognition in the darkest depths of winter? Listen to Wikipedia. Mapping World Literature with Mapbox.

I like new words. I read this week about fandoms.

Feeling good

Is that ship still stuck?Welsh rabbits serve up prehistoric finds on tiny Skokholm Island. The infinite drum machine. Addicted to clickclickclick. Build poemas from the NYT timeline. Where is that boat?

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

Blindspots

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.

Techno-optimists, rug pulls, and hype-biscus

Welcome to this 7th 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 discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

You can subscribe to this newsletter here to get it directly by mail:Subscribe

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing the word.

Share Weak signals and other trends


Blindspots

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

The Surging Demand for Digital Collectibles Could Offer a Lifeline for Cash-Strapped Museums. Zoom quietly launches “Real Experiences” , competing with AirBnb. The fallacy of “what gets measured gets managed”. Geekplus automates picking and flow in the warehouse. Fin-fluencers. Snapchat’s AR capabilities are boosting its commerce efforts.

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

Our future

Up close with transhumanists. All futurism is Afrofuturism. First space hotel set to open in 2027. Google Working On ‘Wolverine’ Project, A Device That Enables ‘superhuman Hearing’. Robots and labour in the service sector. Helping robots handle uncertainty. The 10 most innovative companies in robotics. How will Generation C ( Covid) shape up? Beyond Hygge. Shopping will be dominated by a few but enriched by many. Paving the way for smart clothing. Facebook is betting on the wrist. A Hacker Got All Your Texts for $16. Scientists coax cells to mimic earliest human embryo stage. Flexiform architecture.

Check also this treasure trove of trends reports by the Future Today Institute.

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?

For the First Time Ever, the Rijksmuseum Will Hang Works by Female Dutch Masters in Its Most Prestigious Gallery. Lego is looking to hire a kid to be creative director for a new all-kids digital content studio. What’s a “rug Pull”: Kenny Schachter’s Handy Glossary of NFT Terms for Newbie Crypto-Art Converts. Hype-biscus: a sign “happy” flavors will get us out of the pandemia-gloom? Algorithm helps artificial intelligence systems dodge “adversarial” inputs. a New Show Invites You to Sniff the Odors of Art History Anyway. The dawn of quaranzine.

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 two weeks ago.

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 week:

Digital for B2B: I am working with a number of B2B companies looking at digital transformation and wondering how relevant it really is for themOmnichannel in B2B. how brands are navigating a year of rapid transformation and preparing for the year ahead. B2B’s Digital Shift Is Permanent and Incomplete. Clubhouse: What’s in it for B2B Brands? Eight charts to understand how COVID-19 has changed B2B sales forever. Add more rich media to your content strategy.


Hodgepodge discovery

Are you ready to be a techno-optimist again? How to poison the data that Big Tech uses to surveil you. Eight of Literature’s Most Powerful Inventions—and the Neuroscience Behind How They Work. Fostering Casual Collisions — and Creativity — in a Virtual World. Playmobil’s plan to infiltrate your workspace – and compete with Lego Serious Play. Starbucks implements tech for blind and low-vision customers to aid in-store navigation and more. Why are so many people in Taiwan changing their names to “salmon”?


Du coté des francophones

We’ve had many new subscribers come in last week from France thanks to the outstanding reference to our newsletter in the amazing 15Marches. I decided to include here as a result a few references in French. Donc pour tous les bruitistes…

L’an 2000 imaginé en 1900. Comment choisir un logiciel de veille stratégique. TikTok, générateur de tendances culinaires en pandémie. On aime beaucoup aussi la publication hebdomadaire de l’Intimiste. Abandonner les chiffres romains pour se faire comprendre. Les tendances de consommation touristique.


Feeling good

On the Tokyo metro. Playing it cool: these artists make music with iceCow cuddling has become a thing for lonely hearts in the pandemic. The adventure so far. So Canadian, so 2021: snowshoe yoga. Create your own rejection letters and they are hilarious. Just chilling

Did you learn something today? Share your favorite issues of the newsletter, or send friends – or random strangers:

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And do not miss the next issue:Subscribe

Hit me up at https://twitter.com/competia with feedback, pitches, or ideas for what to write about! Thank you for reading.

Distance-less, learning of cohorts, and hearing colors

Welcome to this 6th 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 discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

Je souhaite la bienvenue à tous nos abonnés francophones qui nous ont rejoint en grand nombre cette semaine… je vais sans doute ajouter dans les prochains numéros une section francophone!

You can subscribe to this newsletter here to get it directly by mail:Subscribe

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing the word.


Business disrupted

Illustrations and examples that show our industries and business models are changing…

Musk is about to disrupt completely yet another industry: launching satellites into orbit, and promising to deliver high-speed broadband internet to as many users as possible. A global blindspot unfolds as the world ran out of a critical technology that powers our cars, phones, and more. Walmart’s Fintech Ambition: A Super App, Not The ‘Bank Of Walmart’.


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

Our Future

Illustrations and examples that show our industries are changing…some trends are tech related, others not so much.

What you need to know about Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). The New Era of Social Media Isn’t About Feeds and products like Clubhouse and Twitter’s “Super Follows” offer a new kind of engagement. The invisible warning signs that predict your future health. China’s ‘Sharp Eyes’ Program Aims to Surveil 100% of Public SpaceCommunal living for urban communities. Algorythm auditing. The distance-less future, and you. You are what you sweat. The ‘megascale’ structures that humans could one day build. Where might autonomous trucking be available first, and how would it proliferate? Shops return to rural Sweden but are now staff-free.


Competitive Intelligence

Military Unit That Conducts Drone Strikes Bought Location Data From Ordinary Apps. A new ad-free, private search engine, Neeva. Beneath the Surface: Monitoring the Deep and Dark Web. An AI-Powered Competitive Intelligence tool for the automotive industry. A masterclass to understand how to test new ideas. 20+ SWOT Analysis Templates, Examples & Best Practices.

Our next course on Advanced Search Techniques for Customer Insight and Competitive Intelligence is here. Our next program will take place on April 26-27 and 28, 2021 (10am-12pm EST).

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?

view of how creators will run their business. Qoves is a “facial aesthetics consultancy” that promises to look at images of your face to tell you how beautiful you are—or aren’t—and then tell you what you can do about it. We miss touch so much, that an artist Transforms Famous Paintings Into Realistic 3D Furry Artworks . Google has invented a tool which allows you to hear colour. Chipotle Partners E.L.F. Cosmetics To Launch Vegan Makeup Collection. Unilever drops word ‘normal’ from beauty products.

Challenging assumptions: World’s first circular tennis ball hits courts this month. New Zealand growers create new brand for apples damaged by hailstorm. A ship hovering high above sea off Cornwall or how our senses can fail us.

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 last week’s conversation.

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 week:

Post-covid leadershipa number of our clients are trying to figure our how management will change with a remote workforce and in a post-pandemia environmentThe role of experimentation. The career optimism index. The Future of Team Leadership Is Multimodal. The covid-19 leadership guide. The future of work after COVID-19 .

Lawtech: professional firms, and particularly law firms, are finally realizing that digital transformation will be key to their growth, if not survival. For a client this week, I dove into #lawtech: Comparing the Performance of Artificial Intelligence to Human Lawyers in the Review of Standard Business Contracts. Changing the lawyer-client relationship. Using machine learning to predict decisions of the European Court of Human Rights ($).


Hodgepodge discovery

IKEA launched Live Lagom, and ‘lagom’ is a Swedish way of living that revolves around only taking what you need. Persuading the Unpersuadable . Burger King social media crisis around Women’s Day. A fantastic curation of francophone newsletters. Hyper-accurate positioning is rolling out worldwide. Gentryfying: burning man is planning a sustainable, permanent space called fly ranch. Virginia’s privacy law is an insight into the future. Science is studying conversations. Social media: Twitter is testing an ‘undo send’ feature for paid users.


Feeling good

Create your own jazz. Bucketlist: a map of world heritage sites by Mapstr ( we use that app to log places to visit on our retail discovery tours). Flow chart fun. I knew it: Observing nature in your backyard is not dull but radically significant. Magical Photos of Fireflies Lighting Up a Forest in Japan. Search images in films.

Did you learn something today? Share your favorite issues of the newsletter, or send friends – or random strangers:

Share Weak signals and other trends

Animate materials, earth’s digital twin, and eternal avatars

Welcome to this 5th 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. Your comments are welcome, here, or on our site www.competia.com.

You can subscribe hereSubscribe

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading.


Our Future

Illustrations and examples that show our industries are changing…some trends are tech related, others not so much.

SciFab: Science Fiction-Inspired Prototyping. Scientists begin building highly accurate digital twin of our planet. Scientists are honing and applying brain organoid researchVans became a broadcaster for local communities with the launch of their new digital live-stream Channel 66 ( many brands are building streaming channels to connect with customers…). Goodbye to parking spaces, hello to meeting places. The new weapon in the fight against crime. Meet the Ghost Franchises. Grocery Store on Wheels to Disrupt Food Retail in Canada. The essential fly. The link between brain research and artificial intelligence. Microsoft’s Mesh powers shared experiences in mixed reality.


Competitive Intelligence

How Competitive Intelligence increased the understanding of competitor production levelsOwletter Captures, Stores & Analyzes Your Competitors’ Emails. A tool that tracks – stalks – bio changes and what they mean. Use Right Relevance, part of Cronycle, to find groups of highly authoritative Tweeters of niche topics ( I was happy to see our twitter account @competia ranked as the number 1 source for “competitive intelligence”) . We are testing Visualmaping, a tool that monitors website changes. Talkwalker monitors what your customers are saying. Modeling and forecasting: 4 methods. Quake technology helps quant firm time entry and exit points – and buck trend-following trend.

Our next course on Advanced Analysis for Competitive Intelligence research techniques is here. Our next program will take place on March 29-30, 31, 2021 ( 10am-12pm ).

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?

LinkedIn is building a freelancer market place ( always thought Uber would own that space with Uber Works). The face of the NFT art market. Animate materials. Programmable Synthetic Hallucinations. Raw and real: the new photo app Dispo, and what it means. Superstar musician Shawn Mendes has partnered with Genies — the world’s leading avatar company — to sell digital goods of himself, with proceeds going to charity. Technical sportswear as the new luxury. China’s crackdown on divorce ($). Lego’s bouquet. Mood-altering sunglasses. Unable to travel, strangers mail each other tastes of home.

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 30mns morning discussion each Saturday at 9am EST ( look for @competia). Here is a summary of our last week’s conversation.

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 week:

Longevity: start-ups and scientists are exploring a series of technologies for those longer to stay with their loved ones longer, Creepy for some, hopeful for others, it is just a sign of whats to come: AI chatbots to give people life after death. Eternime is a network of Artificial Intelligent avatars that preserve for eternity their owners. Keeping your best friend forever. Replicka to create a best friend. Microsoft Patent Reaches Beyond Death to Pseudo-Reincarnation. Time for an ethical framework? Time for a legal framework? From organ donors to data donors? ‘Deep Nostalgia’ Can Turn Old Photos of Your Relatives Into Moving Videos. Meanwhile, Granfluencers are taking over.

Clubhouse: I have spent time exploring Clubhouse this week as the platform is shaping up. Nothing introduces Clubhouse as well as this article on Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity and this quote we love:

Creativity is combinatorial, that nothing is entirely original, that everything builds on what came before, and that we create by taking existing pieces of inspiration, knowledge, skill and insight that we gather over the course of our lives and recombining them into incredible new creations.

We had proof during our weekly chat on CH ( every Saturday at 9AM EST).

Clubhouse’s ecosystem is structuring with new apps to manage your presence: Build your bioClubhouse Glow will create the circle around your photo ( or try Chpic ). Direcon will provide the analytics for your room. A ranking of the most popular users, rooms and events on Clubhouse. Not supposed to be recorded but… Clubhype generates a user-friendly link. Clubpad will create reaction sounds in your room. AskClubhouse allows your listeners to ask written questions, so you pick them and answer them live on stage. Managing RSVPs with Comet. Record , Upload and Share your Clubhouse Podcast.


Hodgepodge discovery

Trees As Infrastructure. The new rules of competition in the technology industry. McDonald’s joy of packagingModular keyboards for daily creators. An archive of pandemics signs. Ikea offers ‘disassembly instructions’ to encourage customers to extend product life. Ad tech companies are building work-around solutions to allow advertisers to continue to target people on the web using other types of individual identifier technologies. The Chernobyl’s logo. What you should know about Google’s FLOC.


Feeling good

Beautiful visualization of every paper published at Nature. Ferran Adria’s new book. Travel remotely and listen to the local radio. How will your iceberg float?

Did you learn something today? Share your favorite issues of the newsletter, or send friends – or random strangers: