Coolhunting: Chasing down the Next Big Thing

Overview

What do the iPod, MySpace, and YouTube all have in common? They’re fresh, they’re sexy, and most importantly -- they’re cool. But while many companies embark on the eternal quest for the next big thing, very few know how to actually find it. Coolhunting will take readers into the very heart of the search and show them how to find trendsetters, spot innovations, and turn brilliant ideas into hot new trends. Major companies like Starbucks and Proctor & Gamble have already discovered the power of coolhunting. ...

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Overview

What do the iPod, MySpace, and YouTube all have in common? They’re fresh, they’re sexy, and most importantly -- they’re cool. But while many companies embark on the eternal quest for the next big thing, very few know how to actually find it. Coolhunting will take readers into the very heart of the search and show them how to find trendsetters, spot innovations, and turn brilliant ideas into hot new trends. Major companies like Starbucks and Proctor & Gamble have already discovered the power of coolhunting. Now, anyone can learn how to:

• tap into the "Tao of Cool" and identify the trends that are truly cutting-edge

• cultivate the skills and techniques of highly effective coolhunters

• pinpoint developing trends on the Internet by using "smartbadges

An invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes, Coolhunting will show leaders how to stay ahead of the curve and on the cutting edge of where their customers want to be taken.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Coolhunting reports on useful techniques for helping to see what’s coming.Wrap it in a plain brown wrapper,and read it surreptitiously." -- Tom Davenport, Harvard Business Online

"...Coolhunting is a skill we all need to master. This book, entertaining and informative..., is a terrific place to start." --Jack Covert, 800-CEO-READ Blog

“Marketers, especially the online variety, and anyone else chasing what’s cool, will want to read the new AMACOM book Coolhunting .” -Ted Kinni, Reading Writing Management Blog

“If success in business means determining your core business and then adapting that core as our customers' needs change quickly, then coolhunting is a skill we all need to master. This book, entertaining and informative about current culture, is a terrific place to start.”

-Jack Covert, 800-CEO-READ Blog

“Coolhunting is an entirely different experience and targets those of us who are fascinated by social networks, how they work, and what's ‘cool.’" -- AllThingsWorkplace.com

“Gloor and Cooper provide a real-world, practical approach to hunting something as elusive and illusory as 'coolness'.” -- Soundview Executive Book Summaries

“The authors write in a style that is easy for those outside of their cutting-edge mindset to understand." --Midwest Book Review

“Helping to ‘elucidate the culture of cool’ this book is fascinating… based on solid and credible field research…“ – Inside Retailing

“…For those keen to mine the wealth of information available in online communities…virtues of social network analysis are clearly demonstrated…an inspiring read…”-- B&T Weekly

“There are many layers to this book, but readers will leave convinced that social networks hold the key to the future.” – BizEd magazine

“An invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes…will show you how to stay ahead of the curve and on the cutting edge.” -- Strictly Business.com

Harvard Business Online
Coolhunting reports on useful techniques for helping to see what's coming. Wrap it in a plain brown wrapper, and read it surreptitiously.
—Tom Davenport
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814473863
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,409,162
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Gloor (Cambridge, MA) has enjoyed a 20-year career as an executive for UBS, PwC, and Deloitte. He currently divides his time between the MIT Sloan School of Management, Helsinki University of Technology, and the University of Cologne, where he teaches, leads research, and writes.

Scott Cooper (Newton, MA), a Research Affiliate at the MIT Sloan School of Management, works with technologists and social scientists on a wide variety of projects. He has written extensively on innovation, business economics, architecture, and new media.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Foreword by danah boyd ix

Acknowledgments xv

INTRODUCTION 1

1 WHY “COOL” MATTERS 5

What Is “Cool”? 7

Coolhunting Offers Tremendous Benefits in Business 9

The Diffusion of Innovation 12

Predicting How Coolhunting Might Be Applied 17

2 SWARM CREATIVITY CREATES COOL TRENDS 23

Self-Organization in the Beehive 24

It’s Cool to Give Power Away 27

It’s Cool to Share Knowledge 33

It’s Cool to Self-Organize 35

Applying Swarm Creativity to Coolhunting 38

3 SWARMS CAN BETTER PREDICT THE FUTURE 45

Prediction Markets 46

Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Predicting Success

Based on Peer Networks 54

You Can Predict Your Future Network 59

4 ABOUT TRENDSETTERS 63

Benjamin Franklin as Role Model 66

The Anti-Ben? 69

Don’t Be a Star, Be a Galaxy 71

Galaxies Are High Performers 79

5 COOLHUNTERS LOOK FOR COOLFARMERS 83

Coolhunting for Trendsetters 84

From Idea to Trend 87

Coolfarming “Enhanced Gravity” 89

The Four Principles of Coolfarming 92

A Coolfarming Example from Beyond the Business World 100

Coolfarming That Truly Changed the World: Netscape 104

Coolfarming Gone Wrong: Boo.com 110

6 WHEN SWARMS GO MAD 113

Collective Madness 114

Lack of Open Communication Can Be Fatal: NASA 121

Egomania at Enron 124

What a COIN and a Religious Cult Have

in Common: “The Family” 126

7 DO-IT-YOURSELF COOLHUNTING WITH TECHNOLOGY 133

Do-It-Yourself Coolhunting in the Blogosphere 134

Tracking Physical Interactions in Social Networks 139

Finding Learning Trends and Making Education Cooler 144

Some Lessons for Virtual Collaboration 146

8 COOLHUNTING BY AUTOMATED SOCIAL

NETWORK ANALYSIS 151

Discovering Trends by Mining Communication Archives 151

1. Identifying Trendsetters in a Social Network: Wikinews 156

2. Coolhunting New Product Trends in an

Online Forum: eCoustics 163

3. Coolhunting Trendsetters Among Product Users:

Mobile Phones in a High School Class 167

4. Discovering Suspicious Patterns of Innovation: Enron 177

5. Coolfarming a Computer Gaming Community 186

9 FIVE STEPS TO BECOMING A COOLFARMER 191

Step 1: Learn About Swarm Creativity, COINS,

and Social Networks 194

Step 2: Form a COIN 194

Step 3: Coolhunt in an Online Community 197

Step 4: Measure Communication in Your Own COIN 199

Step 5: Become a Coolfarmer 202

10 THE COMING WORLD OF SWARM CREATIVITY 205

Morphing into Swarm Creativity 206

Stakeholders or Shareholders? 212

Immerse Yourself in the Swarm 215

Listen to the Swarm 216

Trust the Swarm 218

Share with the Swarm 220

Notes 223

Index 231

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