Here’s my review of the book Non-Obvious 2017: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas and Predict the Future.
I have always tried my luck finding connections between unrelated things and it is an exciting time to live with changes happening rapidly. So this book was definitely on the list after finding it being recommended on many articles.
The author has been predicting trends since 2011 and this book covers the trends for the year 2017. Though I read this in 2018, the trends listed in the book will be relevant for the next few years.
Let’s look at some of the questions which the book can answer.
What do Disney, Bollywood, and “The Batkid” teach us about how to create celebrity experiences for our audiences?
How can a vending-machine inspire world peace?
Can being “imperfect” make your business more marketable?
Can a selfie improve one’s confidence? When can addiction be a good thing?
Before the book gets into the actual trends part, the author takes us through his tried and tested methods of spotting a trend. How to distinguish between a trend and a fad, how to spot & curate trends and how to develop the curator’s mindset are explained well with examples.
The trends are categorized into five domains
- Culture and Consumer Behavior
- Marketing and Social Media
- Media and Education
- Technology and Design
- Economics and Entrepreneurship
Under each domain, the author has a set of three trends which have a creatively coined name.
E.g Authentic Fameseekers, Lovable Unperfection
The trend is explained, backed with examples across industries and there is a note on how to make use of the trend too.
This is not Black mirror stuff but the author’s ability to see patterns in trivial things is phenomenal.
If you are wondering about the trends predicted since 2011, search no further. This book has a separate section dedicated to all the trends predicted since 2011. Though it does not dive deep, it paints a clear picture.
The author is bold enough to candidly grade all the trends he has predicted so far based on “Trend Longevity” and I personally enjoyed reading through all of them.
What I loved about the book
- A sneak peek into the Author’s methods of Trend Curation.
- Step by step explanation of the underlying process with examples.
- Lesser known examples and case studies that back every trend.
- Author’s book picks and reading resources.
- Grading all the previous trends since 2011.
- Lots of data and stats.
Pro Tip: Have your smartphone closeby to check out the examples listed in the book visually.