Sunday, July 20, 2008


We spoke about innovation overload two years ago. If anything has changed since then, it’s that the overload has become an avalanche.

So here’s a special edition of our Trend Briefing, listing plenty of new and updated trends, including 41 related new business ideas, illustrating just how much is going on right now. Aimed squarely at encouraging our entrepreneurial subscribers to execute even more of their ideas, small and big. Time to get even busier ;-)


I. Why, what, who, and how


While most of the global business world is desperately trying to embed innovation processes into their organizations, we still prefer to focus on the brands and entrepreneurs who 'just do it’. And by the beard of Zeus, aren't they plentiful these days! In fact, we’re witnessing an absolute INNOVATION AVALANCHE:

INNOVATION AVALANCHE: There’s more innovation happening than ever before. New brands, new niches, new concepts, new products, new services and new experiences are flooding an equally fast expanding number of markets. Just as important, there are more freely available sources to track these innovations than ever before. And all of this is coming to (if not at) you from every corner of the world. The GLOBAL BRAIN has been unleashed, and there’s nowhere to hide for those who aren't part of it.

The link between INNOVATION AVALANCHE and trends? As focused as we are on emerging consumer trends, we never tire of pointing out that trends are only good for one thing: helping you get inspired to innovate, to come up with new goods, services and experiences for (or even better, with) your customers.

Now, one easy way to get started is by taking a look at innovative companies around the world that are already capitalizing on trends, and learn from them. But before you dive into the many trends and examples we've selected for you, a few quick pointers:

There’s more than lab-based innovation


Innovation is not necessarily about serious people in white coats puttering about in R&D labs. In an experience economy (which we’re still in, like it or not), marketing innovation is equally important, and often trumps technical innovation.

Stop being so god-awful earnest when it comes to innovation


To run with the above: sometimes consumer wants can be frilly, so sometimes innovation can also be less weighty. Really, innovation doesn’t have to be so damn serious all the time! Have some fun with it, too.

You have no excuse for not knowing what others are up to


Wherever you live, you have absolutely no excuse to be unaware of innovation avalanches originating in Sweden, in the Netherlands, in Brazil, in the US, in Canada, in Australia, in Japan, in South Africa ... It’s all out there, reported on 24/7 by sources dedicated to trends and new business ideas. Free of charge. For a list of sites to track, scan and add to your feeds, check out part III of this briefing.

OK, enough preaching, let’s look at practising:

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