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Non-Obvious 2017 Edition: How To Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict The Future

Non-Obvious 2017 Edition: How To Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict The Future

by Rohit Bhargava


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Get the 2018 Updated edition of this book!

Winner: Axiom Business Theory Silver Medal (2017 Edition)

Official Selection: Gary’s Book Club at CES (2017 Edition)

Wall Street Journal Best Seller (2015 Edition)


What unexpected insights can a holographic Holocaust survivor and a Japanese film about soy sauce offer us about career development? How do self-repairing airplane wings, touch-enabled “skinterface” tattoos and smart locks predict the next trillion-dollar industry? What can the surprising popularity of an odd Norwegian TV show and the rise of “quiet eating” in Spain teach us about buying behavior?

The answers to these questions may not be all that obvious. And that’s exactly the point.

For the past 7 years, marketing expert and Georgetown University Professor Rohit Bhargava has curated his best-selling list of non-obvious trends by asking the questions that most trend predictors miss. It’s why his insights on future trends and the art of curating trends have been utilized by dozens of the biggest brands and organizations in the world like Intel, Under Armour and the World Bank.

In this all-new seventh edition, discover what more than a million readers already have: how to use the power of non-obvious thinking to grow your business and make a bigger impact in the world.

Here is a snapshot of trends featured in the report:

. Fierce Femininity – As gender continues to become more fluid, fiercely independent women are increasingly portrayed as heroines, seen as role models and changing the world.

· Passive Loyalty - The ease of switching from brand to brand continues to empowers consumers – forcing brands to get smarter about earning true loyalty of belief versus loyalty of convenience.

· Robot Renaissance - As the utility of robots moves beyond manufacturing and into the home and workplace, they adopt better human-like interfaces and even may have micro-personalities built in.

· Moonshot Entrepreneurship – Inspired by visionary entrepreneurs, more organizations think beyond profit and focus on using business to make a positive social impact and even save the world.

In total, the Non-Obvious 2017 Edition features 15 all-new trends for 2017 across 5 categories including Culture & Consumer Behavior, Marketing & Social Media, Media & Education, Technology & Design plus Economics & Entrepreneurship. The book also features a detailed section with a review and rating for more than 60 previously predicted trends – with longevity ratings for each.

As with the original version, this new edition of Non-Obvious also delves into the curation process the author has used for years to build his Trend Reports and takes readers behind the scenes of trend curation (much to the delight of past readers who have been asking about this for years), and show them the methodology they can use to predict the future for themselves.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781940858234
Publisher: Ideapress Publishing
Publication date: 12/06/2016
Series: Non-Obvious Trends Series , #4
Pages: 270
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rohit Bhargava is a trend curator and storyteller who believes in sharing “non-obvious” ideas. He is the author of five bestselling business books including Non-Obvious (Wall Street Journal bestseller) and Likeonomics (shortlisted for Best Sales/Marketing Book of the Year by 1800CEORead). Over the past 15 years, Rohit has advised hundreds of global brands as a former executive at two of the largest marketing agencies in the world (Ogilvy and Leo Burnett) and is currently founder of the Influential Marketing Group – an independent marketing + strategy consultancy based in Washington DC. A popular and non-boring keynote speaker, Rohit has been invited to headline events in 31 countries around the world where his popular talks have inspired audiences from 10 to 10,000 people to lead with personality, create more human organizations and even learn to predict the future. His thinking on business trends and annual trend research called the Non-Obvious Trend Report has been viewed more than half a million times online and his personal blog has been named one of the top 25 marketing blogs in the world by AdAge magazine. Rohit also teaches marketing and pitching at Georgetown University and is regularly quoted as an expert in media including Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, and NPR. He is a lifelong fan of anything having to do with the Olympics (he’s been to four so far!), actively avoids anything having to do with cauliflower (yuck!), and has dedicated his career to helping brands and leaders be more influential by embracing their humanity and personality.

Table of Contents

Part I The Art of Curating Trends

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Norwegian Billionaire: Why Most Trend Predications Are Completely Useless 5

Chapter 2 The Curator's Mindset: Learning the 5 Essential Personalities of Trend Curators 17

Chapter 3 The Haystack Method: How to Curate Trends for Fun and Profit 37

Part II The 2017 Non-Obvious Trend Report

Culture & Consumer Behavior Trends

Chapter 4 Fierce Femininity 67

Chapter 5 Side Quirks 75

Chapter 6 Desperate Detox 85

Marketing & Social Media Trends

Chapter 7 Passive Loyalty 93

Chapter 8 Authentic Fameseekers 101

Chapter 9 Lovable Unperfection 109

Media & Education Trends

Chapter 10 Preserved Past 115

Chapter 11 Deep Diving 123

Chapter 12 Precious Print 131

Technology & Design Trends

Chapter 13 Invisible Technology 139

Chapter 14 Robot Renaissance 149

Chapter 15 Self-Aware Data 157

Economics & Entrepreneurship Trends

Chapter 16 Moonshot Entrepreneurship 165

Chapter 17 Outrageous Outsiders 175

Chapter 18 Mainstream Mindfulness 185

Part III The Trend Action Guide

Chapter 19 Intersection Thinking: How to Use Workshops to Apply Trend Insights to Your Career, Customer or Brand Story 195

Chapter 20 The 7 Best Trend Resources You Need to Bookmark 205

Chapter 21 Anti-Trends: The Flip Side of Trends 209

Part IV Previous Trend Report Summaries (2011-2016)

2011 Trend Summary & Recap 219

2012 Trend Summary & Recap 221

2013 Trend Summary & Recap 223

2014 Trend Summary & Recap 231

2015 Trend Summary & Recap 239

2016 Trend Summary & Recap 247

Afterword 254

Acknowledgements 257

Notes, References, and Credits 259

Index 260

About the Author 263

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Sharp, articulate, and immediately useful."
DANIEL H PINK, Author of Drive

"One of those rare books that delivers ... a great read!"
CHARLES DUHIGG, Author of Power of Habit

"If you believe in a lifetime of learning, read this book!"
JONATHAN BECHER - Former Chief Marketing Officer, SAP

"Insightful, thought provoking and illuminating!"
SHIV SINGH, SVP Global Head of Digital Transformation, VISA

"Trends that will shape your business and decision making."
SALLY HOGSHEAD, NY Times Best Selling Author

"It gets better every year!"
RYAN HOLIDAY NY Times Best Selling Author

"A powerful argument for how curation can change your organization."
SREE SREENIVASAN, Chief Digital Officer of New York City

"A goldmine of ideas and trends!"
GUY KAWASAKI, Best selling author and Chief Evangelist of Canva

"Well written ... a joy to read!"
ANN HANDLEY, Author of Everybody Writes and Founder of MarketingProfs

"Elegant, powerful and intensely engaging!"
HOPE FRANK, Chief Marketing Officer, Kiosked

"An invaluable guide to understanding our customer's customer."
NAVEEN RAJDEV, Chief Marketing Office, Wipro

Reading Group Guide

- National media publicity outreach (TV, radio and print)

- National keynote speaking tour (30+ large events per year - including planned speaking at shows such as CES, SXSW and NRF)

- Op-Ed and Guest Articles planned for top tier business media (Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, etc.)

- Special promotions via author website including signed copy promotions, bulk order packages and sales contests/promotions for launch week

- Paid Sales Promotion in airports (front table and other promotions)

- Paid Full page ads in WIRED magazine during launch months

- Promotion via author's existing email marketing lists and social media platforms (100,000+ targeted individuals)

- Affiliate email marketing promotions via other industry lists (500,000+ targeted individuals)

- Bulk sales promotion to large corporate clients of author's consulting business (10-15 of Fortune100 brands)

- Online social advertising promotions via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

- Targeted bonus content for author's audience on Slideshare (over 1 million readers of previous presentations)



Questions with the Author

Q: Why do you revise this book and offer 15 new trends in the updated edition every year?

A: At the beginning of every year when the new trends come out, there does tend to be quite a bit of buzz and excitement because they are new. The thing about my reports, though, is that some trends take more time to develop so there is still value in the trends identified for this year even if we happen to be heading into 2017. The interesting thing that happens over time with these “non-obvious” trends is that they start to become more obvious because more people pay attention to them. But knowing about and using the trends from this year into next year – no matter when you pick up the book, will always have value in the moment.

Q: Why is it so important to offer catchy names for trends and isn’t that just another form of “future babble” that you advise us all to avoid?

A: The real problem with “future babble,” as Dan Gardner described it in his book I cited is that those experts who predict the future can be unwilling to admit any sort of mistakes. The babble, therefore, actually comes more from mistaken predictions and stubborn refusals to evolve thinking. I do love developing interesting names for trends to help them stand out, but I also work hard not to become emotionally attached to the trends or defensive of anyone who has an alternative viewpoint to share. That’s ultimately the responsibility I think any of us have to curating trends. We must be comfortable enough to see another point of view – and admit mistakes when we make them.

Q: I have seen you in several interviews reject being called a “futurist.” Why is that a term you don’t think describes what you do?

A: I know many futurists, admire them and consider several to be close friends. What they do, though, is quite different than my approach. They see the future in terms of technology advances over wider spans of time. They look at how this technology will affect entire nations and populations. And they tend to be more focused on macro shifts in society. My approach, instead, is much more about short term behavioural shifts and how they specifically impact business in what we buy or sell. I find it interesting to look at what will happen in 20 years. I find it more useful and actionable to focus my curated trends only on the upcoming year.

Q: Can anyone (not just self pronounced futurists) identify trends? And if so, how might they use these insights in their daily life?

A: Yes, after leading dozens of workshops now and teaching thousands of people across the last five years about trends and predicting the future, I have found that anyone can learn to put the five habits of trend curators to work in their own lives. Beyond trends though, one of the most surprising things about these skills is how applicable they are for the rest of our lives. Being more curious, observant or thoughtful – for example, can lead you towards appreciating the people in your life or gain a greater understanding of the world around you. Even if it happens to have nothing to do with business.

Q: Some of the trends in this year’s report (as well as some previous trends) seem to contradict one another – like the one about “Glanceable Content” versus “Experimedia.” How do you think about or handle trends that seem contradictory?

A: I know some people read the book and want to see the trends as a whole, but every year there are contradictions. Why? The main reason is because the world is contradictory too. Products compete for contradictory audiences. Individuals are influenced in contradictory ways. So the way to approach trends is not to say that they all point to one view of the world. Rather, what I hope people take away from the book is that there is plenty of meaning and acceleration between each trend … even if they happen to describe slightly different views of the world.

Q: One theme across several of your trends this year has to do with our shrinking attention spans. Do you think humans as a whole getting dumber?

A: Well not necessarily dumber, but certainly more distracted! Yes, the shrinking attention span is a major challenge for any of us – but I think people do still want to consume content in longer formats. They are, however, more selective with the content they will devote this additional attention to. What that really means is that we need to get better about giving people that “glanceable” snapshot of our message to entice them to spend more time with it either in the moment, or later when they have more time.

Q: What if I invest a lot of attention and resources into using a trend that you identify this year and then it disappears next year?

A: In five years of producing this report, no trend has simply disappeared overnight. They may sometimes start to have less impact as time passes, but there when you read about trends from the current year – you can be confident in using them to power your strategy for the coming year and usually beyond that as well.

Q: You have said in interviews that writing a book usually takes you about a year. Is that really how long it takes – and how does that break down for you in terms of writing versus research?

A: Now that I have done it four times with full length books (and once with a shorter ebook), I can safely say that the time frame for me is one year to produce a book. The process, though, varies greatly based on the type of book. Personality Not Included was heavily based on my own experiences and so the writing was the hard part. Likeonomics required a lot of story research and writing + rewriting to tell those stories effectively. Non-Obvious was very research oriented where the majority of my time was spent doing interviews, collecting and curating information, and then bringing the arguments for each trend together. For every book, I use a storyboarding technique to map out the flow of the book, then write it in pieces to be assembled and editing later.

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