The following are my notes from Jeremy Gutsche’s (CEO of Trendhunter) keynote from the 2016 MRIA National Conference. There is little editing in this post so there will be typos. Also note, Jeremy talks very fast, I type moderately fast – so I missed a lot!
Your next breakthrough is probably much closer than you think, but each of the hundreds of choices you take take you down a different path.
Bright people often miss insights that they are very close to getting.
Have studied 100 million people, to come to six methods.
Fortune 500 list tenure for companies use to be on average 75 years, now it is 15. It has become more important for companies to adapt, but they are not structured to do so.
How Chaos Works:
Gave the example of someone working for NASA who in his spare time was very interested in origami. Tried for a long period of time to figure out how to break down origami patterns in a way that competitive people in origami weren’t able to do.
However, while it might not seem important outside of this this has applied to other fields such as medicine and air bag technology.
Story: The case of the boy business man
Jeremy wrote a 65,000 word book, and publisher fascinated with something he wrote about his dad. So he interviewed him.
Grew up poor in a small house with two siblings. One day as a boy he notices that grocers discard used food at the end of the week for leftover food. He makes an agreement to sweep floors, and they give him week old food, which he sells at a discount.
Tries other things like week old magazines.
Becomes a 16 year old nightclub owner. Ends up getting in a lot of trouble for renting club out to a religious group, that used it for drinking, gambling and strippers. While he ended up getting grounded, he immediately became student president.
Your competitors are lazier than you think
- his father knocked on a thousand doors asking people if they would go to a local watering hole, helped improve the number of people coming
- made a loan to the Calgary Stampeders, club went into receivership so he became defacto owner — lost a lot of money, so he had players call former season ticket owners to have them come to the game and also sat beside people at games to talk to them about coming
- result: attendance went from 15k to 35k
Market Research Project Jeremy Started:
Finally the overlooked idea
-his father bought every old magazine, and tried to prototype ideas for products based on what was in magazine – seeing what was a good idea
Problem: the act of getting inspired is now overwhelming
Jeremy – did the following: Web design, dot com, photographer, painting, lawn and garden, MBA & CFA, Management Consulting, Director at a bank
But still didn’t know what he wanted to do, so wrote a book about his journey.
Created TrendHunter to try to get companies to submit concepts – which now has 3 billion views, and 100 million people have gone through it.
They pair brands with advisors, with many different industries, and have found traps that are common.
Once you find your field, like a former you are pre-wired to do this year after year.
- Kodak employee who created the first digital camera, was ignored.
- Blackberry wanted to ensure they dominated business phones, ignored consumer onslaught from Apple.
- Blockbuster became national chain, challenge from Netflix, three times Netflix offered to sell to BB, BB ignored this as a “distraction” wanted to focus on retail outlets.
- Smith Corona – still uses “The best typewriter company in the world” as their tagline
How to counter-act this:
Zara creates, designs and sells a new dress in 14 days, normally takes 14 months at other retailers.
There is no rollout, there is only testing. They sending a small number of dresses, and report back if there are changes necessary based on in-store feedback from customers.
According to Guardian, Zara is an indicator of being a stylish city.
Farmer Traps and how counter-acted
Complacent vs. Insatiable
Repetitive vs. Curious
Protective vs. Willing to destroy
How different would you act if you knew there was a team working 24/7 to eat your lunch
How often do you stray from past success?
Facebook in 2007 – a site for friends to archive photos of their everyday
Google assigned 1000 people to beat them, but failed
For example someone in a marathon likely wants a sense of completion, not necessarily winning — > Tough Mudder — Re-think about what people actually want
You don’t need one idea, you need one little idea you can make big.
Increase your odds of winning by aligning multiple trends
CEO of Red Bull (who was a former market researcher) talks to a taxi driver in Thailand who used a drink to stay awake, researcher ends up launching Red Bull globally.
As a result of a court makes Red Bull required to say 1) not for teenagers 2) not for pregnant women 3) do not mix with vodka — > helps their brand