Trends or tragedies?

Some things really fascinate me. How we can meet cool people in the weirdest of places (Coffee Been, Mario?). Cool ideas that spring from unlikely places (Post-it Notes). And some amazing trends…

I’ve just discovered some interesting ‘trends’ that may or may not come to pass that really challenge me to think while simultaneously shaking my head:

  • Gravanity – Beyond YouTube, from personalised stamps (that Australia Post actually offers) to average people paying to have their names on the seats in a cinema, there are opportunities for ordinary folk to have their 15 minutes of fame. Or how about Troika’s efforts in letting people project their SMS messages onto objects?
  • I wonder whether every house really is for sale… every house is for sale
  • While they didn’t let me in there last month, I’m pretty impressed with WC1‘s £1m job of outfitting a bathroom opposite Selfridges
  • Transumers: consumers who are driven by experiences rather than wanting to own things… preferring to live a more transient lifestyle. And if you take what luxury consumers are doing as an indicator of what the rest of us will be doing in the future, consider this: Spending on luxury experiences and home services nearly doubled between 2004 and 2005!
  • Inspiriences: When we want to make our home environments extraordinary… from the home cinema to the home resort. Not being satisfied with a great place and metaphorical castle, people are wanting to make their homes into a ‘real castle!’ While we have home coffee makers, I don’t understand why we can’t get XXXX on tap in our own home bar – they can get Heineken thanks to Krups
  • Along similar lines are garden offices. While perhaps out of the reach of our friends in Shanghai and London, it could be interesting for many people… especially the increasing number of teleworkers in the ‘burbs.
  • What about buying great glasses online? A friend in Shanghai just paid RMB3000 (AU$500 – they’re nice!) for her latest glasses, but maybe there should be cheaper ways. The same kinda thing is available for contact lenses too. For either, I don’t think Steff would like this idea taking off though…
  • Renting gardens??? I don’t know if Ross came up with the idea or borrowed it from the Dutch version, but it’s a really cool idea!
  • Create vinyl decals for the side of your car? Not just to make the car use a tax deduction, but to personalise the little beast…
  • Vending machines in the ladies’ rooms… but for a straightening iron! They’re only in the UK so far, but are set to spread…
  • Maybe cone-shaped pizza is your thing. Looks more appealing than most of the stuff available in 7-11’s and takeaway stores… actually, it could be a real alternative to Subway even. Maybe it might teach the Chinese that Pizza Hut has a great business system for making mediocre pizza – even after taking Carol to the Nanjing Road store on Wednesday night, I still can’t believe that people queue for overpriced poorly made ‘pizza’ in Shanghai… so much for being culturally sophisticated! But, best of all, this stuff is actually from Italy!
  • How about going to sea to discover the world – and getting academic credit! Thanks to “The Scholar Ship” now you can.
  • Ticketmaster handled tickets for my brother’s graduation ceremony, but what about running your own events? What if you could have a professional ticketing service for your next event? Sounds cool to me, thanks to brownpapertickest.com
  • With China’s newfound wealth, will we see something like Floridasation for Australia? Maybe they’ll stick with Chongming, though somehow I doubt it…
  • It’s not enough to have stuff and do things: Now we want to show off how great we are… and maybe we want to be really good at showing off how wonderful we are by taking advantage of status skills. From making your own wine or coffee, to tying your tie properly or maybe just being more ‘elegant’… combined with the massclusivity and uber premium trends, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot more etiquette and connoisseurship classes for those who want to be seen as “It” rather than getting caught wearing a Nouveau Riche t-shirt!

For me, I’m looking forward to seeing the movement away from consumerism towards experiences combine with the status skills movement, yielding great rewards for those of us who can teach people to be brilliant… the time when ‘status’ will go to those who can actually do cool things are are actually cool people to hang around, rather than those who buy expensive stuff (mostly unused garbage?) that destroys our environment through its wastefulness. What about deriving status (and heaven forbid satisfaction!) from your creativity like artistic, academic and indeed most truly high performing communities? Of course, that would be a opportunity for genius training