Sosumi, adaptogens and missed calls

Welcome to this 11th 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.

Strategic Intelligence

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

It’s Time to Toss SWOT Analysis into the Ashbin of Strategy HistoryAmid the Pandemic, Hedge Funds Grapple With Investments in New Tech
and Alternative Data . US financial services firms lead UK in alternative data integration, study finds. US Intelligence Warns of Fractured Societies, Likelihood for Conflict ( the full report on Global Trends 2040 is here). The Competitive Intelligence Software Market, forecasts to 2026. Yet, Most business intelligence software isn’t getting used. 61% of businesses say competitive intelligence has made a direct impact on revenue. The Journalist and the Whistleblower.

We are collecting strategic analysis techniques on Pinterest. Here are 190 of them.


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

Opentable Has Opened Its First Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant. A booming industry based entirely on missed calls. Confusion over GDPR is blocking scientific progress, throwing up barriers with US researchers in particular. Sixty-Week Delay on Router Orders Shows Scale of Chip Crisis (see also Everything You Need to Know About the Great Semiconductor Shortage on the same theme). The global chip shortage could last until 2023 . Russian buildup in the Arctic has northern NATO members uneasy. Redefining what a map can be with new information and AI.

Need an introduction to strategic blindspots? This article, published by Estelle Metayer for the World Economic Forum, demystifies what it means (also in Chinese: 快公司的安全驾驶) and in Italian.

Our future

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (pdf). Realizing the potential of synthetic biology. A South Korean Chatbot Shows Just How Sloppy Tech Companies Can Be With User Data. Call centre staff to be monitored via webcam for home-working ‘infractions’. The Most Important Scarce Resource is LegitimacyDecoding emojis and defining ‘support’: Facebook’s rules for content revealed. Mobileye and Udelv Ink Deal for Autonomous Delivery. Watch a fly-through of Mars city designed for quarter of a million people.The Pandemic Could Be an Opportunity to Remake Cities. Scientists can implant false memories — and reverse them.

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?

Meet Stack, the newest technology incubated by Google. Hint: it intends to index your life. Artist’s intent: AI recognizes emotions in visual art. Quintessential Canadian: sweet maple sap filled with the ecology of the forest, and infused with the queen and king of the medicinal mushroom ( it reminds me of Taika). Instacart and DoorDash Plan to Launch Their Own Credit Cards. Christie’s Will Offer 9 Multimillion-Dollar NFT CryptoPunks in Its May Evening Auction. Forget Traffic Jams! The Audi Neo-Bauhaus Concept Carries A Bicycle. The Therapy-App Fantasy. Archegos and the $6tn world of the family office ($). Why are young people imagining themselves as the protagonist in fictionalised versions of their lives? Working with smallholders. Impossible Foods’ First TV Commercial Will Challenge Meat Like Never Before. Single pixel of digital-only art sold for more than $1.7 million at Sotheby’s.

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:

Future of work: I will be keynoting in May for a client at their conference for their 2,200+ employees on what to expect when we return to the office: What more than 32,000 people think about the future of work. Retail as a New (Old) Third Place. Microsoft revealed the latest truths about working from home. Ministers urged to give UK home-workers a ‘right to disconnect’. “I Do Not Trust People in the Same Way and I Don’t Think I Ever Will Again”. Here’s 10,000 Hours. Don’t Spend It All in One Place. How COVID-19 and ‘work from anywhere’ can build the city of the future.

Sound:as I serve in the “kitchen cabinet” of LifeScore, I am sensitive to what is going on in the world of audio: Brands are upleveling bespoke audio assets into audio-first touchpoints and immersive soundscapes, for 360-degree multisensory engagement. The fascinating Story of Sosumi & the Mac Startup Sound. Design and music go hand in hand, and the ties that bind them are deeper than album packaging or gaming soundtracks. Coca-Cola: Try Not to Hear This by David. Disney applies for patent for generation of audio including emotionally expressive synthetized content.

B2B:I am building a one-day training program for the management of a large Canadian diversified industrial company: B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy: 5 Questions to Ask First. Bottom Up Pricing & Packaging: Let the User Journey Be Your Guide . Omnichannel in B2B sales: The new normal in a year that has been anything but.

Our speaking engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

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

Building an antilibrary: the power of unread books . Epinard, the community. Consistent routines make creative work possible. Instead of a code encrypted in the wiring of our neurons, could consciousness reside in the brain’s electromagnetic field? In 1990 8 nuns sold up their convent, bought a Mercedes, bet on racehorses and disappeared to the south of France. Massive Lego Kingdoms That Defy the Cultural Erasure of Africa’s Medieval Civilizations. Always Remember to Ignite Imagination When Creating Learning Experiences. Periodical Cicadas Will Overrun D.C. This Spring. Inside the Making of Facebook’s Supreme Court.

I like to discover new words: this week, I learnt about adaptogens (scroll down to the bottom of that newsletter).

Feeling Good

Calmly Writer: The Ultimate Distraction-Free Writing App. NASA shares breathtaking image of a wind-sculpted sea of blue dunes on Mars. Wikipedia around. A Cyclist on the English Landscape. Brick Twist.


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