Inside LaucnhStreet business podcast innovation podcast Rohit Bhargava

Looking Forward with Trend Prediction Will Help You Win the Future

Do you ever wish you had insight into those big trends that are going to impact your business before you are talking about them in the past tense? Sometimes I feel like I don’t really recognize the big trends that impact my customers’ world and their expectations of me until I’m seeing them in the rearview mirror. Not in 2018! This time we are going to look forward at the big business trends of 2018 so we can leverage them to outmaneuver the marketplace before it outmaneuvers us. We are kicking off the year with Rohit Bhargava, innovation and trend thought leader, to talk about this recently published trends report, Non-Obvious Trends: how to predict trends and win the future. We talk Enlightened Consumption, Manipulated Outrage and how you can be a trend curator in your world.

Listen now to this episode on Inside LaunchStreet:


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Key Takeaways:

[2:18] Rohit shares that he is a drummer and a percussionist. He can rub his tummy and pat his head.

[3:36] Rohit talks about how the secret to understanding the future is understanding the present. The prediction is that the idea or thing is going to accelerate. Why is intersection important to business trends?

[5:22] Find out why are most trend predictions are useless?

[7:10] Rohit defines trend: a curated observation (observing multiple things and putting it together) of the accelerated present.

[8:42] Rohit and Tamara discuss enlightened consumption — becoming more conscious of the choices we make.

[13:56] Lightspeed learning describes the expectation that we can learn to do anything almost instantly. Rohit shares the story of an eight-year-old boy driving himself and his sister to McDonald’s to get a cheeseburger. He learned to drive by watching YouTube videos.

[15:32] Tamara questions if lightspeed learning helps to be more creative and innovative? Rohit talks about Fender Online Guitar Lessons and how people expect to learn to play well fast. How do you communicate with your team and customers at lightning speed?

[17:19] Is there a magic formula in trends? How do we ensure that people don’t hack knowledge? There needs to be a balance between deep learning and lightspeed learning. We don’t want our oral surgeon learning to operate on YouTube.

[18:07] Get introduced to manipulated outrage. Who’s profiting from manipulated outrage? The more angry people are, the more they seem to care. People care about the stuff we hate. As a consumer, how are we letting ourselves be manipulated?

[20:11] Manipulated outrage is becoming so pervasive in our culture. You see it everywhere. Rohit offers suggestions for responding to it. If watching cable news outrages you, stop watching it. Find news from unlikely curators you trust, like

The Skimm. Tamara shares that after The Skimm became wildly successful, CNN, Huffington Post, and others tried to copy Skimm and deliver news facts to people in boxes. They missed the boat, though, regarding the non-obvious trends behind it.

[23:32] Rohit and Tamara discuss the human mode. There’s lots of tension and confusion between technology and the human touch. Rahat believes that in many cases people prefer and trust the human touch. The human mode may be a premium option from now on. Having real people is an alternative but not necessarily a default.

[26:00] Tamara reminds Launchstreet listeners that the human touch is a mode, it’s not a spectrum. Rohit introduces the human library: a library of volunteer people where you can check out a person for a half hour conversation. This is happening in South Australia. The human library helps you understand people, culture and increases empathy.

[28:47] How do the business trends affect innovation efforts? How does crossing industries help to see the connections? Get introduced to the “idea collector.”

[31:58] Tamara challenges Launchstreet listeners to capture everything that makes you go “huh,” and write down why it made you go “huh.”

[32:10] Rohit shares key skills for Launchstreeters to employ to predict the future. First, be observant, seeing processes in action. Second, be fickle — save something because you think it’s interesting but you don’t put pressure on yourself to figure out its meaning in the moment, you move on. Third, be elegant: Every word is intentional. It’s chosen because of its significance.

[36:46] Were there any surprises in trends for 2018? What happens when things shift over time?

[38:24] Find out why Rohit considers himself a near futurist. Tamara questions if Rohit has ever connected the trends over time. Rohit is working with Microsoft right now to develop a data visualization of trend elements.

[40:02] Connect with Rohit at The Non-Obvious Company, and on his website.

[41:00] Rohit advises Launchstreeters to expand their media diet and read something different.

[1:34] Tamara suggests that you go to and start using Innovation on Demand to get ahead of the competition and rock 2018!




Mentioned in This Episode:

Non-Obvious 2018 Edition: How To Predict Trends And Win The Future, by Rohit Bhargava

Fender Online Guitar Lessons

The Skimm

Next Draft

Brain Pickings


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