Welcome to this 24th 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 other Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse (we’re on this week!).
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 rest of the summer. We will move back to the weekly version next week…
This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.
A new tool by Google to analyze trends. Also by Google, trending searches. MIT built a Google search to spot the most important tech innovations of the future. The promise of open-source intelligence. New artificial intelligence tool helps forecast Amazon deforestation.
Blindspots are biases that can lead companies to underestimate future risks or fail to take advantage of emerging opportunities. We highlight in this section illustrations of such emerging risks or opportunities ( or often both…) as well as the emergence of non traditional competitors and their business model:
TikTok Opens Pop-Up Experience in London. Netflix to open first physical store as it expands retail offering. Amazon reveals massive insurance partnership. Luxury and co-working collaborate. Robots are coming for the lawyers. Sicily hits nearly 120 degrees, may have set Europe’s all-time heat record. The office cliques created by hybrid working could trigger major company culture issues . Postal Service Presses Forward With Plan To Slow Mail Delivery. Target has launched 48 private brands. Tech Firms Are in an ‘Arms Race’ To Buy Up American Homes. Tesla Could Become A Subscription Company.
The psychological toll of tornado forecasting. Amazon opens its $1.5 billion air hub. From Spider Silk to Solarpunk: a Guide to the Future of Materials. SpaceX and Geometric Energy Corporation plan to shoot ads into orbit. Some Google employees could face a pay cut of up to 25% if they work from home permanently. Streaming space tourism is the new reality TV. The big tech quest to find the metals needed for the energy overhaul. A review of the European start-up landscape. On Snapchat, retailers are testing the efficacy of mini apps.
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?
Job alert: ‘Spaceport Mixologist’.There’s a Crypto Bubble In Hip-Hop. To fight obesity, researchers develop world-first weight loss device. Mad Scientists Revive 100-Million-Year-Old Microbes. Losing my revolution. Virtual fireplaces ( in French). American SUVs are now bigger than the TANKS that fought in World War II. Japanese parents send relatives rice to hug in lieu of newborns. Bike camping. A book made specifically for Instagram. Target expands adaptive clothing and products for people with special needs. Pringles Joins NFT Craze With ‘CryptoCrisp’ Virtual Flavor. Ikea Releases Limited-Edition Candle That Smells Like Its Famous Swedish Meatballs. A garbage diving influencer. How healthcare workers in India fought a surveillance regime and won. The Cutthroat World of $10 Ice Cream. Lufthansa Sleeper’s Row. Nando’s shuts restaurants as it runs short of supplies.
On our radar
I am preparing for the fall an update on a series of workshops on competitive intelligence and privacy: Private Espionage Is Booming. Your car’s sensors will now spy on your private life. Catholic priest quits after “anonymized” data revealed alleged use of Grindr. China Readies Strict Data Privacy Laws. Facebook launches tool to help people in Afghanistan lock down their accounts.
I like discovering new words, this week, I learnt about overemployed: These People Who Work From Home Have a Secret: They Have Two Jobs. There are even rules to make it work, and a network to discuss it. Some work 10 jobs at the same time ( we could also call this type of employee an entrepreneur…)
Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:
The pantelegraph was the first machine that could transmit pictures electronically. How Henry the vacuum cleaner became an accidental design icon. The physics of lightning. Make it She, an app to measure gender biases in websites. How newborn mammals dream the world they’re entering. Can animals count? The insides of pro bowling balls. In Praise of Garages. Entrepreneurship is contagious and this quote:
People innovate because they are inspired to do so — it is an idea that is transmitted. And when people do not innovate, it is often simply because it never occurs to them to do so. Incentives matter too, of course. But a person needs to at least have the idea of innovation — an improving mentality — before they can choose to innovate, before they can even take the costs and benefits of innovation into account.
Nerdy: name that ware. The museum of broken relationships. Sand grains. The Loiseaux Family destroys buildings. Matchboxes ( and their history). Shanghai Astronomy Museum. A music time machine. The cultural borders of songs. Banksy reveals a spree of new seaside works.