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The100: Thinking fast, harbingers of failure & ice cream

Trender bender

Little known fact: if you laid all the pages of all the 2020 trend reports published to date,  end to end, they would circle the earth. Twice.

Helpfully, Julian Cole has kindly pulled together all the relevant PDFs into one handy place.

I’m sharing it because I know it will be popular; but I can promise you, there are better things to do with your time, even if that’s nothing…

Boredom is essential

…because you’re creating opportunities to get your best ideas:

“When you’re bored, you tend to daydream, and your mind wanders, and this is a very, very important part of the creative process”

And this gem:

“As the old saying goes, only the boring are bored. But if our technological lives keep going the way they’ve been going, soon only the bored will be interesting.”

Alternatively, play games!

No matter the time of year, sometimes the brain just won’t get going and solve those business problems. Well, worry no more, here are 20 board, party, video and card games that will help stimulate the grey matter.

Timeless – Speed

‘I have no time to read trend reports, take on those pieces of advice or play those 20 games’

I hear you murmur. Well, The Atlantic offers 3 theories for why you never have time.  Basically, better technology has created higher expectations, which in turn has generated more work.

It’s all logical. I’ve got to stop washing my clothes and leave the dusting to a quarterly chore. Seems even dust clouds have silver linings.

And if you think things can’t be accomplished quickly, check out this list of things that have been done fast. For example, the Eiffel Tower being built in 793 days, and 1700 miles of highway in Alaska in just 234 days.

Puts a few other things to shame. Just how long did that last new product launch take 😉

Inside out

The author Ian Leslie (a former speaker at one of our events) writes about how too much information (or the wrong information) can make us less informed and how we should be looking at both the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ view.

“In this data-saturated world, we are more likely than ever to be sucked into the inside view. We are never short of facts and details that conveniently confirm what we prefer to believe.”

This ties in nicely to a webinar I’m hosting on the Widening Empathy Gap on 6th Feb. You’re welcome to register here.

The thriller in vanilla

We’re all for listening to the consumer, even though complaints more than praise will dominate most consumer helplines. Yet even the most obscure criticism should never be underestimated. Ladies and gents, take your ringside seat for: “My car does not start when I buy vanilla ice-cream” – genius.

Continuing the ice-cream theme, Ben & Jerry’s CEO Matthew McCarthy says he sees the value of market research but believes it can make brands seem “mediocre”:

“Earlier in my career we would test things and let consumers tell us what they want. While that is a helpful tool, it can also push your ideas and products towards mediocrity and pleasing everybody.”

Harbingers of failure

So we listen to complaints, don’t ask people what they want, and now we seek out those who choose failure: Tim Harford argues that we shouldn’t just observe early adopters (FT paywall), but look at the Surprising Breadth of Harbingers of Failure.

Wish us luck with that panel recruit 😉

The fun bit

There are only 10 types of movie poster, according to @leesteffen. It’s really rather good. Here’s No 9

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And finally, it may be the new year, but some things never change, and that includes our obsession with maps 🙂 Voila:  an interactive map on the history of the New York subway. Enjoy (though bring your travel sickness pills, just in case).

P.S. Occasionally I get asked if I have any resolutions for 2020. I do have a list of such things I’m not going to do this year – does that count?

– I’m not going to use the phrase ‘crushing it’
– Read a trends deck and immediately believe all of it
– Read any post that starts “what we learnt from [insert name of a currently successful sports team]
– Use the Leonardo di Caprio gif of him raising a glass in any congratulations post. He has form for it.