It’s hard to out-run the future if you don’t see it coming.

From Gary Hemmel's Outrunning Future

It’s hard to out-run the future if you don’t see it coming.

Learn from the fringe. What’s true for music, fashion and the arts is true for business as well: the future starts on the fringe (not in the mainstream). As William Gibson once said, “The future has already happened, it’s just unequally distributed.” To see it coming, managers have to pay attention to nascent technologies, unconventional competitors and un-served customer groups. A good rule of thumb: spend an hour a day, or a couple of days a month, exploring emerging trends in technology, lifestyles, regulation and venture capital funding. The future will sneak up on you unless you go out looking for it.

Can't think of a better advice for startups and small technology businesses. By exploring and keeping track of emerging trends, you are ready to leverage technology to disrupt an antiquated business model. Can you imagine the impact some of the emerging trends in Mobile, Learning and Cloud Computing will have on many existing businesses?

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