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Day 36: Coolhunting

The term comes from an article by Malcolm Gladwell. Check it out if you are down for a lengthy, "literaturized" read. It is also described in detail in Jeremy Gutsche's book called Creating the Future. I picked it up because of how impressed I was with Gutsche's creation TrendHunter. (a trendhunting platform)

Why is this relevant?

A sense of trendhunting or trendsetting is applicable in any area. It is seeing the next step on the current timeline of the evolution of a company, profession, customers' preferences, ways of advertising, and general world trends. It is looking for what is cool.

This endeavor is very much based on observation and there are no hard-&-fast rules. it is very multivariate. Almost like with everything relating to humans and the future, but more so in trendhunting, it is almost impossible to go like "Do this and that and you will get what you want."

I still do not know enough about this. With this post, I want to put in the first seed of starting to think and learn about it.

Trendhunting might sound like something that comes fast, flashes, and fades. There are trends like that but also there are others that go for decades and lifetimes.

Like when choosing what to study in college, people pose this question: "What is hot right now?'. "Computers', which is extremely general. With a level of trendhunting and understanding, you can direct yourself towards a specific niche that is going to be big in computer science in the close future and you will be one of the few early adopters.

You want to be at the very origin of what is hot. Watching a video from an eCommerce guru called "Top Hottest Things to sell in 2020" is not getting us far. Thousands of other people have seen the video, a few actually went and applied the ideas and a couple are already in the niche. Doesn't mean that we want to completely ignore those ideas but we need to be aware that those are not very unique.

You want to be the one opening a company, making a ton of money, and then sharing your tip on your channel when you already captured your niche and are not afraid of competition. You want to be not necessarily the first one, but one of them.

Trendhunting is about being alert enough to be able to catch unexpected things that come at you. In whatever sphere you are, it is what we call in Russian, "holding your nose upwind", smelling what is going on.

We will need more than just statistics because those are gonna be raw. You will need to employ a lot of judgment and analysis and experience to make sense of the statistics. Google Trends is a free and widely available tool but what the heck do I search on there? Trendhunting is a multivariate problem and thus it requires multivariate input: what people say, what is happening in the world, what tech innovations are happening, what historical trends are applicable, etc.

To sum up, I think it is about two things:

  1. Training yourself at trends and patterns recognition. [Internal] This is about the close observation of processes in your area of interest. Oftentimes, observations from real, day-to-day life. It is also the skill of "diffusion research", where you are able to take those separate pieces of information and connect them together.

  2. Getting access to and exposure to "trendy" triggers. [External] It can be people who are innovative or just good thinkers who get your brain going. it can be an event, a place, an experience: anything that triggers you from the outside to be watching out alertly and notice things you did not notice before.

What is the next big era in your sphere that you can capitalize on earlier?

What is a trend with your own behavior, thinking, or energy levels that you can recognize and then transform?

Any big-time success story is a result of some trendhunting and trendcapturing. The truth is you absolutely do not need to be exceptionally smart or creative if you are able to pick up on the right trends and leverage them properly. Trendhunting is about curating patterns that are about to happen. So you put your energy into helping that wave ride more aligned with your goals. But it would happen anyway.

Like with time, people would eventually have smartphones. They would have phones and electricity. But those genius inventors brought those tools around faster than anybody else we know.

Let's get to some trendhunting now! I will be getting back to this with more insights.

See you tomorrow,


P.S. I called this one Coolhunting and not Trendhunting because the earlier obviously sounds cooler. 😉

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