- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 16, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446356816
- ISBN-13: 978-0446356817
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,882,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives Mass Market Paperback – August 16, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
In that light, such "predictions" as are implicit in the megatrends cited do seem often to have played out: The attacks of 9/11 can arguably be seen as a highly localized action in response to the trend of globalization, as well as to the leading role played therein by US political, economic, and business interests and the resulting domestic and international policies. The existence of highly-effective, decentralized networks, such as Al Quaeda, enabling highly localized action in support of a major global trend and disperse organization (i.e., the global spread of fundamentalist Islam) can be seen in some ways as a synthesis of the dichotomous, simultaneous forces of globalization and localization.
Likewise, as technological development accelerates and permeates human cultures, the value of individually hand-crafted items rises. The interest in owning hand-made items, and in making things with one's own hands, increases in parallel. As one indicator of this trend playing out, consider the proliferation of magazines and in-person gatherings on these two groups of subjects.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great when trying to determine trends for investment and other thing in life purposes. Forget your investment advisors, if your smart you can figure it out yourself if you pay... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Thomas Garner
The book conditional is very good. Someone introduced this book to me. I am reading now. Thank seller to contact me, Frankie.Published 15 months ago by buyer
I read this book in 1982 and found it to be extremely insightful. Re-reading it today, I am convinced that John Naisbitt was prophetic in this work. Read morePublished on February 17, 2014 by Wayne Palmer
The author posits 10 Megatrends to dominate our society (from 1982) though stating that p. 232: The megatrends are linked. Read more
Read this book in 1984 and was not impressed with it back then. Naisbitt failed to convey or foresee the profound effect technology has had on our everyday lives. Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by Paul W. Brainerd
Someone put this old book out on their stoop for someone to take and I thought it would be interesting to see how wrong this prognosticator would be, just like they all are. Read morePublished on February 21, 2012 by T. Dreiling
The book was sent as promised, in the time-frame promised, in the condition promised. Can not ask for more than that.Published on September 16, 2011 by James T. Eartly