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July 2012
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Future Spotting – Wired’s 7 Rules for What’s Coming Next

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

A large part of my role at Capp is about trying to identify the trends of the future, and then ensuring we are best positioned to make the most of them.

 

To that end, I was intrigued to read Wired’s 7 rules for spotting the future in the June edition, courtesy of Thomas Goetz, executive editor of US Wired.

 

As a reader of The Capp Blog, I thought you might appreciate them too, so here’s a summary:

 

1. Look for cross-pollinators: It’s well-known from the psychology of creativity that a major source of creativity can come through taking ideas from one discipline and applying them in another. This, it turns out, is also a great way to identify trends for the future. Look for something in one domain that could have applications in another, and you’re one step closer to predicting it happening.

 

2. Surf the exponentials: What are the major trends re-shaping the world around us? If you can spot these and work out where they will lead and what the implications will be, you’ll find yourself ahead of the game and closer to the future than otherwise.

 

3. Demand deep design: Steve Jobs taught us that deep design is about beauty, simplicity and intuitiveness. When something is perfect in its conception, easy to use, and obvious in its practice, it’s going to be here to stay – and it will re-define the benchmark for what follows.

 

4. Give points for audacity: The people who go out on a limb and risk taking a chance – the true entrepreneurs of the world – are those who shape what will be from the possibilities of what might have been. Pay attention to the risk-takers and the people with belief, since often they will be right and the rest of the world will follow.

 

5. Bank on openness: The internet has revolutionised what we think about intellectual property, ideas and even products themselves. So much, now, is free, and new industries are being built on the power of open-source. This democratization of everything is here to stay, and it’s leading to a very different future than we might otherwise have anticipated.

 

6. Favour the liberators: Some of the biggest opportunities that will shape the trends of the future rest on putting existing infrastructure to work in different ways. What great reservoirs of untapped resource lie dormant, just waiting for a liberator to see the world differently and release them? Innovation is the central tool of those who see things differently and will create a different future as a result.

 

7. Spend time with time-wasters: Who are the people doing different things just for the love of it? The people whose passion has taken them far beyond the day-to-day? It’s from this immersion at the edges of what is known, driven by an innate desire to explore, to invent, to push the boundaries, that the new dimensions of the future emerge.

 

What do you think? Do these 7 rules chime with your own experience of what you pay attention to  in order to know what’s coming next, or do you see things differently?
Let us know by sharing your Comments on The Capp Blog.

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