Information is King…and Other Trends

My co-editor, Dave, and I recently had the pleasure of hearing Watts Wacker futurist, author and lecturer.

Watts WackerWe picked up on four major trends in Watts’ talk, to share with you:

  • What a Small World! Watts says we should all get used to the concept of a global culture — not a U.S. culture, not a European culture, but a global one. Frenchmen go to a DisneyWorld for vacation and eat Big Macs. The world’s culture knows no geographic borders anymore.
  • Information is King. “The value of information about goods and services eclipses the value of the goods and services themselves,” he says. Watts gave as an example certain collectible Campbell’s Soup labels. The soup cans cost far less than the labels, which are being sold on eBay for more than 10 times the price of the soup.
  • Paradox — Get Used to the Word. As Watts pointed out, we will be seeing more paradoxes, where society moves in multiple different directions at the same time. For example, low carb diets are hot, at the same time cooking is hot. This is a reflection of the complexity of our world.
  • Capitalism Rules and China Ascends.The last two decades have seen the rise of capitalism, affecting China greatly as that country’s economic system transforms and morphs. China now has a US$1 Trillion economy and is poised to be a major economic power moving forward.

Interesting talk. Both Dave and I can see how these four trends play out in the small business market. We’ve already identified a number of them as major trends affecting the small business market, over at our sister site, TrendTracker.

Globalism is a dominant trend affecting small businesses. Information, and the rise of intellectual property as a key business asset and differentiator, is something that has increased the ability of small business to compete. Paradoxes are obvious, especially in the way big companies keep getting bigger, while small businesses proliferate. And finally, capitalism has opened up untold opportunities for small businesses to start up and expand worldwide, and has awakened the sleeping giant, China.

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