This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

November 13, 2013

Identifying MiniTrends

Typically we cover the trends themselves, however recently, we came upon a valuable list of suggestion for finding trends from John Vanston, PhD. of Technology Future, Inc. and author of the book "MiniTrends: How Innovators and Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit from Business and Technology Trends".

Vanston defines MiniTrends as emerging trends that have the potential to become significantly important in the reasonable short time of two to five years. Moreover, they are either not generally recognized or their importance is not recognized.

Vanston offers the following suggestions for finding MiniTrends:

First, "Follow the money". Look at "who will make money, who will lose money, and who will pay, if the trend is extended, curtailed, or modified". When you look at the prospective markets, you can easily determine whether a trend is likely to become important.

Second, "Follow the leaders". Vanston means look at the influential people, particularly recognized futurists and scions of industry. Have they recognized the importance of this trend?

Third is "Examine limits". Here, Vanston is not only taking about the laws of man, but also the laws of nature. Besides the regulatory and policy restrictions that might govern the adoption of the trend, there are the natural laws, e.g., battery life, the speed of light, and other aspects governed by science.

Fourth is "Consider human nature". How will people think and feel about the product, service, or development? That will determine a great deal about its acceptance.

Fifth, "Take note of demographics. Is this trend likely to grow with changing populations? For instance, if the product or service is designed for a market that is shrinking, the trend is unlikely to become important in the long-term. On the other hand, if the population segment is growing and is likely to continue to do so, you may be looking at a trend that will be fast increasing in its importance.

Sixth is "Analyze frustrations". If the product or service reduces frustration, you have a greater likelihood of it being popular, than if it intensifies frustration. Trends that offer breakthroughs in saving time or money or offer convenience are much more likely to grow in importance.

The final suggestion is to "Search for Convergences". What Vanston means here is to be sure to look at where trends touch, because that may signal either that both trends will grow or perhaps the opposite? A great example of this kind of convergence is in the exponential growth of both mobile and cloud technologies. The two are mutually supporting; each fuels the other's development.

MiniTrends are important to watch and Vanston's suggestions provide a good roadmap for getting there. To find out more about John Vanston and his book, visit

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