Welcome to this 20th 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. As we all need to recharge batteries, this newsletter will move to a bi-monthly frequency starting in July and for the summer: http://competia.substack.com
This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.
A trove of data about your competitors. The secret codes you’re not meant to know . Tech Companies Are Training AI to Read Your Lips. Brave, a new non-tracking search engine. The biology image detective.
Blindspots are costly biases that can lead companies to underestimate future risks or fail to take advantage of emerging opportunities. This week, we focus on the mindsets required to spot strategic blindspots and think sideways:
The most famous case of blinspots: What can we learn from the rise and fall of Kodak? The biggest stereotypes about young, unemployed Africans. The direct-to-consumer powerhouse you’ve probably never heard of . Nokia’s Collapse Turned a Sleepy Town in Finland Into an Internet Wonderland. Could all your digital photos be stored as DNA? In Argentina, cheap government-issued notebooks sparked a musical renaissance.
En francais, désinnover.
We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.
Musicians Are Pinning Fresh Hopes on Twitch. What Is a Flying Car? It’s a eVTOL. Some brands do much better on the secondhand market than others. The store of the future won’t have any merchandise at all. Development of non-linear music. Mining Ancient Innovation for Future Solutions. Apple struggles to make healthcare its legacy. Reinventing the vehicle ( thank-you La Mutante for the scenario). How farmers and scientists engineer your food. Hired by an algorithm. Camouflage tech that makes soldiers invisible. Japan is proposing a four-day working week. Eight trends that will define 2021. Scientists might have spotted tectonic activity inside Venus.
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?
A $50,000 Mind-Reading Helmet. Final call for the in-flight magazine? Scientists convert used plastic bottles into vanilla flavouring. Fast food swags. Hundreds of Southwest flights canceled after two disruptions in 24 hours. Pairing water with wine. How Zombies Are Shaking Up the Puzzle Genre. How the boom in pet ownership is shaping hospitality. Amazon is reportingly destroying millions of items. . Google new store. The rise of therapist influencers. The Caffè Sospeso. Clever Billboards Are at Dog-Eye Level. The fake decor trend ( good, as I could not figure out how to interpret this).
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:
GenZ behavior trends and how they might become also emerging habits of other generations: GenZ productivity tips on Tik Tok is booming. GenZ is snubbing high fashion. Swipe surge. Gen Z media consumption habits. Gen Z and millennial employees embrace the concept of ‘Polywork‘ and a quote for all of you polymaths:
“I’ve never liked the idea of just doing the same thing every day,” he said. “I have multiple interests that I’m passionate about and they’ve naturally become different streams of income for me. Modern working attitudes and flexible technology allows my generation to juggle a multitude of things in a way we’ve never been able to before.”
Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:
Truth, Reading, Decadence. Creative devaluation. How to think about pleasure. The politics of biodesign. A lifetime of systems thinking. Mama bear or seizing The Middle: Chess Strategy in Business. Why Your Inner Circle Should Stay Small, and How to Shrink It. A website is a room. Let’s build a chip. ESG is missing a metric: R for resilience. A scientists has tracked indigenous tweets to make an inventory of rare language speakers. The container for curiosity.
You have asked me to suggest newsletters that inspire me, so I will suggest one each week: “Understand the future, how Tech shapes it”