Thinking about trends is a fruitful way of thinking about your strategy. In fact you need to set your plans aside and concentrate on the world outside you. Not that you wouldn't normally do but now in a different way.
There are however trends and hypes. A trend is a fundamental movement. A hype is a artificial one. In investment terms, a trend would be supported by a fundamental movement, a hype is a technical wave that could or could not have a fundamental backup.
Digging behind the drive of a trend is also about finding solutions for “problems”. A solution is something that is built. A problem can be anything. A marketplace on internet is a solution, the problem is how (and where) do people meet for all kind of purposes? A marketplace, a business directory, they are all very “easy” solutions, not really expensive, to be established without a lot of capital, knowledge (you depend on others) so you will find many of them. When observing all these sites you might question whether you could talk about a trend or hype. Behind a trend is a real demand, behind a hype hides an unreal supply.
In business you also need to think about the fundamental question – what are the clients demanding? – and about the solution you provide.
Analyzing the fundamentals behind a real trend can help you fine-tuning your strategy. In this you can focus on consumer trend (the most volatile), market trends and movements in society (if your focus is really long term).
Online businesses were a real hype a few years ago. The trend of connecting online however is still growing.
© 2005 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account