January 01, 2017

"In her book 'The Signals Are Talking,' Amy Webb, the founder of the Future Today Institute, gives us a sophisticated but fairly narrow view of the future."

NY Times: She limits her forecasts to trends in technology, since, as she writes, “technology is the unilateral source of nearly all of the significant things that have changed the world in the past 500 years.” (There were a few wars in there, too, but let’s concede the premise.) by Kevin Roose

'To predict trends, Webb writes, you begin by looking to the fringe, identifying the misfits and early adopters doing bizarre experiments and tinkering with emerging technologies. You look for hidden patterns in the use of these technologies and apply a six-step rubric Webb calls Cipher (contradictions, inflections, practices, hacks, extremes, rarities) to analyze which ones are likely to catch on and reach the mainstream.

'Then, when you have a trend firmly in hand, you create a strategy to capitalize on the trend, and “pressure-test” that strategy before taking action.

'Like most modern futurism, Webb’s advice is directed primarily at an audience of entrepreneurs and executives trying to figure out how to stay ahead of the competition.'

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