The competition

One way to grasp the Big Board is to see what it is not. aleister_crowley_in_hat

Typically, trend watching and future forecasters exhibit the following characteristics:

  1. The trend work is almost always about the latest thing, aka “fast culture.” The deeper forces at work (“slow culture”) in America are ignored.
  2. Trends are almost always looked at in isolation. These days it is interactions that matter as much as the trends themselves.
  3. There are either too few trends under study (the “latest thing” problem above). Or too many. One Big Board competitor is monitoring over 200,000 trends.
  4. Cultural forecasting rarely uses quantitative data…or uses these data well.
  5. The trend worker rarely makes a prediction (and can never be proven wrong).
  6. When the trend worker does make a prediction, he or she almost always forgets about it. (Just as well.) It is impossible to identify a “track record.”
  7. Trend watching and future forecasting is a deeply unsystematic process.