De-cruiting, cremating diamonds and capex spending

May 28, 2021

Welcome to this 17th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

You can subscribe to this newsletter here to get it directly by mail most Fridays:

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.


Disrupted

We keep an eye on companies, large and small, who are challenging assumptions. Here is our sample this week of surprising twists around new customer segments and business models:

The florist that sends rotten flowers after a break-up. Ethereum Closes In on Long-Sought Fix to Cut Energy Use Over 99%. Delivery Drivers Are Using Grey Market Apps. Do you know how to de-cruit? Innovating for the minority. Gagner sa vie en dormant. Made-To-Order Clothes Are A Secret Weapon. A photo app that bans selfies is blowing up online.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.

Our future

On Gojek’s gamified platform, the rules change, and the drivers lose . A blind man can make out objects again after an optogenetics treatment. Airbnb thinks remote work will change travel forever ( see also: Try out a new city). It’s not remote work, it’s closer work. An investment bonanza is coming. Mature branding. Twitch's Rockonomics. Gas stations that double as dining destinations. Google Ventures-backed Merlin Labs is building AI that can fly planes. Students at @Yale wrote an amazing 30-page constitution for Mars. Firms are rediscovering their love for capex.

An Ethnographic Approach to foresight.

I will participate on June 9th in a panel : “Chartering the future: looking forward” with amazing global innovation officers at IKEA, Nokia , Procter & Gamble (Cindy Soo , Trond Arne Undheim , Leslie Shannon , Steve Brown , Betsy (Elizabeth) Bluestone and Cindy Soo).

Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Cremation Diamonds from Ashes and Hair. Gnome shortage: Lockdown and Suez canal blockage blamed. Dog macarons. Japan creates a Ministry of Loneliness. ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ YouTube Video to Be Deleted After Selling as NFT for $760,999. The Instagram Accounts Helping Gen Z Navigate Existential Dread. Florida signed into law the Stop Social Media Censorship Act. The Pandemic Has Changed Their Shower Habits. Japan is naming a Ministry of Loneliness. TikTok is blocking alpaca influencers. A gender-neutral line of nail paint .

I like new words or learning about the origin of words. Bluetooth was the epithet of King Harald Bluetooth who united dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

Having joined a new board in this industry, I have been intensively reading about the future of construction: The Strange, Soothing World of Instagram’s Computer-Generated Interiors. Warren Buffett to Offer a Fresh Approach on Modular Construction. Office ecosystems. A Skyscraper Made of Stacked Farmhouses, Lifted by Crane Into the Structure .

I have worked this week with the executive board of a client, facing important conflict at work, partly due to collateral damage from a long pandemia: Five Signs that Workplace Conflict is Escalating during this time of COVID-19.

Our consulting engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

The Intelligent Forest. A Brief History of Smell-O-Vision. Examples of medusa charts. Mexico City Could Sink Up to 65 Feet. Goodbye to the Future: The Last Days of Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower. The untold story of the vegetable peeler that changed the world. A Stopping the Manipulation Machines. You are a network.

You have asked me to suggest newsletters that inspire me, so I will suggest one each week: I really like Stéphane’s weekly 15 Marches.


Feeling Good

Descriptive Color Names Dictionary. An Invitation to the Cicada Party. Is this a polygon? The Pachama projects. Stunning, hidden patterns of animal movement . The light pollution map. A mesmerizing timelapse that visualizes the rotation of Earth (thread).


Did you learn something today? Share your favorite issues of the newsletter, or send friends - or random strangers…

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And do not miss the next issue:

Contact me at Competia with your feedback or ideas. Thank you for reading.