Tomorrow’s 2015 Shifts
GROUP Faster fads.
Identifying trends has always been difficult, but the rampant and accelerating pace of change in
the the current age makes it harder than ever.
Any snapshot of this moment in time is likely to be a blur of movement & immediately out of
Trends are hard to separate from fads, they are impossible to act upon, they don’t allow for
building sustainable growth, they offer a flicker of illumination, not the need for continuous
So the Tomorrow Group develops and leverages Shifts.
Shifts are multi year changes in how people behave, how technology is changing this behavior ,
they offer a more firm platforms to base decisions on.
I hope you enjoy them, shifts are living, evolving, they blend and separate, I’d love to hear any
feedback on any part of these.
Tom Goodwin - September 8th 2014.
Society is accelerating, our relationship with time is changing.
We’re in a non-stop world, we have FOMO, (fear of missing out) because YOLO (we
only live once) , heck we don’t even have time to use words anymore.
Now businesses look set to drive the pace of change up to new heights and
embrace the frenetic pace, to find ways to make money from every shorter fads, ever
more dramatic user take-up and the more rapid changes in direction. In this age
agility eats size for breakfast.
Technology is being adopted faster than ever before, It took 30 years for electricity to
reach 10% of the population, 25 years for the telephone, 11 years for the television,
9 years for the internet, and 8 years for the smartphone, yet the with the arrival of the
tablet it took less than 3 years.
The technology itself is now able to propagate success faster, the price of installation
now free, the time to download minimal, the sign up or switching costs are nothing
and the mobile phone book has become the new social graph, allowing viral like
success to become commonplace. While it took Twitter 24 months in 2006),
Foursquare 13 months ( 2009), Instagram 3 months ( 2010) but by 2013 Flappy bird
and now Yo in 4 days.
Welcome to the accelerated age. FSTR.
Chapters of the pervasive web.
1) The most demanding and disappointed age.
2) Ultra-short form media.
3) Spontaneous business.
4) Faster fads.
5) Faster fads (cntd)
6) Real-time marketing.
7) Last mover advantage.
10) Find out more.
The most demanding and disappointed age.
We live in incredibly turbulent times, technology is unleashing itself on every aspect of our lives, progressing
relentlessly to more bring about more profound changes, more quickly than ever before, but ironically, as is
does so, the only thing changing faster are our expectations.
Moore's law continues to hold true, we see computing power grow exponentially, our ability to process data
has never improved more rapidly and sensors become cheap and abundant. Simultaneously costs for
sharing and storing data plummet, while speeds and capacity increases accelerates. We're on the edge of
an interconnected world, a world of the internet of things, with big data and powerful computing that aids our
lives in ways we've never imagined.
When these empowering elements meet the changing business world, a culture of entrepreneurialism,
readily available cash, lower barriers to entry and start up costs, it's easy to see why so many people think
the singularity is nearing, it feels like the equivalent of the moments before the big bang and this time we
have a ring side seat.
But look around: we've already embraced the new and expect more. We're looking not at what's leading the
edge of progress but what's lagging behind. We're frustrated when we don't get 4G, amazed when we can't
track our home delivery with GPS, shocked that we still get medical appointments via mail, and we act
bewildered when after two hours browsing, three hours of video watching, four phone calls, and 25 photos
taken, our phone's battery is looking low. If you think that's bad, look at children: have you ever seen the
disgust on a four- year old's face when they notice a TV isn't a touchscreen?
We see a curious world where what's possible is marching at a faster pace, but what's common—and
expected--lags behind. We see a world of consumer disappointment, filled with "This is not a touchscreen"
signs on airport TVs or in retail displays. In the words of Louis CK, commenting on Wi-Fi on planes: "How
quickly is it that the world owes us something we didn't know existed only five seconds ago?".
Ultra short form media
Over the course of the last ten years the average attention span has dropped from 12
minutes to a staggeringly short 5 minutes. Our continuous partial attention span and on
demand cultures has destroyed concentration. We now see the death of longer form
journalism, articles with subtle headlines and meaty reporting.
We’ve moved to a time of click baits for headlines to attract attention, a move away from
words and to video and a growth in articles that require little focus, a plethora of listicles and
We see the rise 1 minute newsroundups, the BBC trailing 15 second instagram video
roudups, shorter form serious journalism like the independents (i) and most drastic of all
the Vine ( 6 second videos) or the tweet as reporting. The rise of the GIF could see video
take on ever shorter form.
The ‘i” ,designed for people
who do not have much time
to read a newspaper
TV Shows looks to embrace
6 second clips
As the world becomes lubricated by technology the ability of companies to reach people, sell to people and
fulfill deals faster opens up a new tranche of apps and business models designed either to facilitate
spontaneity or sell perishable inventory before time passes.
Beautified or Voodou allow the spontaneous booking of hair and beauty services that would otherwise go
used and Hotel Tonight allows Hotels to shift hotel rooms for that location and night only. Spring now offers a
Tinder like UI to make buying stuff take seconds, impulse purchases through mCommerce for the first time.
Home delivery is getting faster, Amazon now offering same day delivery in 8 cities, apps like InstaCart
offering grocery delivery in hours, our expectations of everything increase.
Services now propagate to aid those who do the spur of the moment, yPlan offers curated shortlist of the
best events in town every that night and allows two tap booking and no printing, Swarm from foursquare is
designed around seeing your friends locations to start impromptu gatherings, apps like Wingit or Urban
Daddy then allow quick discovery of places around you based on simplified needs and curated listings.
Hotel tonight - the app for
last second booking.
Amazon same day delivery
One of the problems in the current business model is that the same forces that allowed quick user
adoption are all those that allow people to leave equally quickly. We used to talk about network
effects and how important the social graph was in building a sustainable user base. It was once
impossible for startups to compete with legacy businesses ( like Facebook or eBay) because
scale was self sustaining. But the mobile phone has changed all that. Now a download of an app
can spread to millions of people through the mobile address book.
Other friction is removed, most apps today are free, don’t require credit card entry to sign up or a
contract of any sort. Now the same forces that build companies quickly, hasten their demise. And
we are at PEAK APP. We only have time for so many games or apps, so the next big thing is likely
to replace the current situation not build on it. In this age success seems more fleeting than ever.
This is the time of easy come, easy go. We’re also marketing to a new crowd, a group of people
who’ve only ever known free. Loyalty is no longer existent in a generation of people. All mere
flashes that make securing a profit harder than ever.
Faster fads ( C’ntd)
It is any wonder companies are failing faster, Faster failures of companies- The average lifespan of a
company listed in the S&P 500 index of leading US companies has decreased by more than 50 years
in the last century, from 67 years in the 1920s to just 15 years today, according to Professor Richard
Foster from Yale University.
Ever faster, ever higher
peaks of interest, the
current internet landscape.
If profit is linked to peak of
interest and time, note that
the area of these graphs are
Real Time Marketing
We consume new stories that spread around the world and die in a flash, what’s
below the fold on the twitter newsfeed passes in a way that no longer happened with
the website as a portal, sparking stories burn out, refreshed by ever more and every
more quickly produced new content.
Marketing has followed the trends, we now see real time marketing look to jump on
sparking stories, the 24 hour turn around of tactical media in the print age, turned
into expectations of tweets in the seconds after. We now have brands with
Newsrooms, looking to hĳack buzz worthy moments
Based in Nestle HQ , the ’Digital
Acceleration Team’ tasked with
‘listening, engaging, transforming and
inspiring’ in real time.
Last mover advantage.
First mover advantage was perfect for centuries. The first to get the gold, build
the railways, make a TV.
But then as technology and behaviors advanced, it was possible to be too early. Ask
Jeaves was ahead of Google but people we not ready for it. WebVan started before
anyone would trust the internet. Nokia’s Vine was like a mobile Facebook but before
people wanted to do this on mobiles. The second phase was “right mover
advantage” Those that rode the wave of innovation but launched just as people
and technology caught up.
But now technology moves so fast that ANY new company launching later than you
will be able to tap into a larger smartphone user base, use better programmers,
leverage more recent behaviors and better technology, for a lower cost than ever
before. What if the world was changing so fast, it was always the last to launch that
succeeded? How can companies keep themselves the latest and best when their
succees makes them slower and less thirsty than the newer arrivals? What about
last mover advantage.
What can be done about this? How do you benefit form this? How do you……
Embrace the spontaneity, how can you use apps and advertising to provide a way to ensure
that people can buy your product on the go.
Embrace the time poor,what can you do to help people with no time.
Be wary of easy come easy go, where will people go to after they grow tiered of your
Embrace the power of the network effect and growth hacking to create fast advantages.
Manage expectations, are you setting up expectations for immediacy that you can’t deliver
on? Always on is a one way street.
Consider faster more efficient ways to communicate and offer customer service, OTT
messaging or IM suits people more than phone calls to call centers.
Make hay while the sunshines, in a world where success can be random or fleeting,be able
to tap into flashes of success before they pass.
While a lot of effort has gone into this document, no predictions are ever perfect and few are
intended to be.
The value of this document isn’t in certainty, it’s about exploration.
This document is about asking questions, entertaining scenarios, stress testing ideas.
But, above all else it’s about triggering creativity, what new opportunities does this way of thinking
create? how does this frame of reference inspire?
So you’ve got this much for free, it’s pretty profound and asks many more questions.
It’s the tip of the iceberg, you will note that examples and demonstrations are lacking in particular.
If you want a presentation and explanation.
If you want to discuss these in detail.
If you want to ideate around what new opportunities this provides, what threats will materialize,.
Please contact me.
The Tomorrow Group is based New York and London, but we have planes and phones in 2014.