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Go to the Source for Your Fountain of Truth About Powerful Trends

Mar 1, 2008
If you are in an impenetrable jungle and suddenly find that there is molten lava flowing near you, chances are there is a volcano somewhere nearby. You may not be able to see it because of the rain forest canopy, but you can search it out based on using that inference.

An economist arrived at a company's headquarters in the 1970s and reported on his latest forecasts for consumer income. The numbers showed those with average and higher incomes would see their incomes grow very rapidly while those with lower incomes would be stagnant.

When asked why this might be happening, the economist apologized and said that he had no idea. But he offered to check his numbers and report back. Two years later, he still had not figured it out.

In the meantime, the food and beverage company looked into the phenomenon (thinking there might be a major shift in consumer patterns occurring) and uncovered some possible reasons. The economy was moving into a service focus, driven by highly-paid, well-educated specialists. At the same time, global manufacturing competition was prompting unskilled factory jobs to move from North America to lower-wage countries.

The company quickly spotted an irresistible force that was likely to continue for decades: the emergence of a mass market for premium-priced and luxury goods to be sold to the new, upscale workforce. The company shifted its focus to this phenomenon earlier than others and its "mass class" products prospered.

To the best of everyone's knowledge, the economist never did figure out what was going on, even though his forecast was accurate. He may just have thought that his model was faulty and gave up.

As we look around today, we see many of the consequences of this trend in the rise of mass markets for luxury goods, astonishing increases in the use of consumer services for beautification, large expansions in the size of average homes, and exponential use of electronics for personal enjoyment.

What are the lessons?

1. Tiny divergences from the current trends, if continued, can have enormous long-term consequences.

2. Rather than ignoring what's new, it's important to check out what the meaning of the new factor might be.

3. Demographic shifts that are based on continuing factors (such as increased competition globally, more advanced education, the rise of knowledge workers, and an appreciation for higher quality goods) can create explosive benefits for those who pursue them.

4. Developing strategies to take advantage of the new trends can create lasting competitive advantages relative to those who aren't looking for new trends.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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