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Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives Mass Market Paperback – August 16, 1988


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Mass Market Paperback, August 16, 1988
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 16, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446356816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446356817
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book clearly deserves more than five stars for its power and effectiveness in identifying, explaining, and projecting many important trends in American society over the last 18 years.
I first read this book when it was published in 1982, and decided to reread it recently to understand more about the methods used by testing them with 20-20 hindsight.
The book built from the principle that the "most reliable way to anticipate the future is by understanding the present." Although the book relies a lot on that method (by examining current beginnings that could turn into mighty rivers), its real power comes from the long-term perspective of how an information society will be different from the prior industrial one.
The trends identified were:
(1) Becoming an information society after having been an industrial one
(2) From technology being forced into use, to technology being pulled into use where it is appealing to people
(3) From a predominantly national economy to one in the global marketplace
(4) From short term to long term perspectives
(5) From centralization to decentralization
(6) From getting help through institutions like government to self-help
(7) From representative to participative democracy
(8) From hierarchies to networking
(9) From a northeastern bias to a southwestern one
(10) From seeing things as "either/or" to having more choices.
The detail behind each of the trends is often more rewarding than the overall trend itself. You get specific examples that excite your imagination. "On the producer side [of multiple choices], it means there can be a market for just about anything.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr. on October 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Naisbitt looks a long term futuristic trends. He helps one to see the big picture both chronologically and globally. Take for example his opening observation that "While America's new information economy is our most important megatrend, it is only part of the puzzle." He logically argues that "collectively what is going on locally is what is going on in America." The five bellwether states, which set the trends for the rest of the couutry are idenified as; California, Florida, Washington, Colorado, and Connecticut.
A strong case is made in the second chapter for "high touch" (i.e., human involvement) to remain a vital component of the high tech age.
In the third chapter, the global economy is described. The airplane and satellite communication are identified as the technologies that caused the transition from a national to a global economy.
Although an international, global economy exists, surprisingly at the same time decentralization is occurring. He explains in chapter 5 why.
In the following chapter he similarly explains how people are becoming increasinly proactive in their individual futures, and not rely on institutional help.
The proactive theme is carried a step further in chapter seven.
Chapter 8 discusses the phenomenon of networking.
Right up to the end of his book, he makes a solid case for the trends he describes. This is a well-written book, researched so that its essential theme remains accurate although a lot has changed since it originally was published.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was published in 1982. It stresses the motion from national to global economy, from either/ or kinds of choice to multiplicity of choices, from an industrial to an information society, from Technology dictating to us to our demanding what we want from it. These trends do seem to have played a part in the last quarter century.

But if I think back upon the past twenty- five years it seems to me that they are very far indeed from 'covering it all'. Consider the fantastic development of the Internet which has totally transformed the way we learn about the world. True, the book talks about moving towards an Information society but this Daniel Bell and other sociologists made clear many years before-and no one , as I understand it, conceived how the Internet has developed.

Consider other developments of this time, including the political ones, such as the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of the US as single superpower, and then the Terror of 9/11 and the coming into being of a Fundamental Radical Islam that threatens Western society as a whole. Others foresaw in the eighties a return to religion , but I don't think anyone could have imagined anything as disastrous as this worldwide terror campaign against the West.

I could go on. I do not want to fault the book which makes valuable points. I just believe it presents only a very small part of the picture, and the trends which have been most consequential over the past quarter century.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Vargo on March 25, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was in college when this book came out. Having come from a part of the country that was heavily manufacturing-based, I was seriously interested when I heard a group of students and profs talking about how this book stated that manufacturing was going to be a thing of the past in the US and that the economy would become service-based.

I was even more surprised when the group came to the conclusion that this was a good thing because service-based jobs are cleaner and more admirable than manufacturing jobs. They decided that the sooner the messy factory jobs could be shipped out of the country, the stronger our economy and nation would be.

Later, many of these people grew up to be the business leaders of the 80s, 90s and today. They along with many others who fell for the predictions made by Naisbitt, converted U.S. business to a global economy, forced manufacturing jobs away from trained American workers, caused a myriad of crashes in Eastern local economies and congradulated themselves on a job well-done. Afterall, they maintain high company profits with little effort by exploiting desperate workers in Third World places. Who cared about what was happening under the surface in American businesses...the leaders were getting big bucks to be ahead of the trends and to screw American workers out of decent-paying jobs with benefits.

I don't think this book predicted the trends as much as it got business leaders to believe in those trends and make them happen.
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