How to spot the future

I just saw an amazing video from Wired editor Thomas Goetz (@tgoetz). If you have the time, do watch it (embedded below). He also has a longer article over at Wired on How to spot the future. I’ve just added his book to my reading list: The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine.

I took some quick notes from the video:

  1. Look for cross-pollinators – e.g. Detroit meets Silicon Valley
  2. Surf the exponentials – bank on today’s technology, bet on tomorrow’s technology. CPUs, battery storage, bandwidth
  3. Favor the liberators – CDs are control, freeing up blockages is basically MP3 and BitTorrent technology. See AirBnB, Uber that brings liquidity to markets (via Reid Hoffmann)
  4. Respect audacity – Set audacious goals, you’ll solve a lot more things along the way. Too many apps, look for Tesla’s and Square’s who want to change the way we drive and make payments respectively
  5. Bank on openness – see Linux and the opensource movement in general. Microsoft compared it to a cancer (Steve Ballmer) and now they’re one of the biggest contributors to Linux. Twitter? Hashtags, retweets, etc. came from the users. Exploits your opportunity. Gives your good idea to reach a maximum number of people.
  6. Demand deep design – see Apple with their simple user manuals. Good design strips away the barrage of information. Help us understand information. Facebook has a lot of redesigns over the years, and everything they do is cajoling a user to share more; better organised. Same reason why Pinterest is so hot right now. Turns messy lives we live into something that actually looks beautiful. Deep design: turns chaos into curation.
  7. Spend time with time wasters – look at people who are spending time creating new tools, new language, new culture. Look at the DIY/maker movement, health 2.0, hackathons (organized time wasting – create even more than they start with).

Wired Editor Thomas Goetz: How to Spot the Future from WIRED and WIRED on