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Minitrends: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends: Between Megatrends & Microtrends Lie MINITRENDS, Emerging Business Opportunities in the New Economy Paperback – June 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Pinnacle Book Achievement Best Business Book Winner

An Eric Hoffer Business Book of the Year Award Winner -- "The ability to capitalize on newly emerging business trends is the premise of this book. There are 'Minitrends' all around us, defined as those that 'promise to become significantly important within the next two to five years.' ...By reading this book, you will learn how to take hold of these opportunities, overcome common obstacles, and ultimately profit from Minitrends." -- The Eric Hoffer Project

ForeWord Reviews' Business Book of the Year Award Finalist -- "Vanston has the ability to discuss minitrends conceptually, as well as describe specifically how the reader can discover and potentially profit from them. The author's enthusiasm for the subject is infectious, and readers looking for new business opportunities are likely to share that enthusiasm. This is a book that should inspire many readers to take action." -- ForeWord Reviews

USA Book News' Entrepreneurship & Small Business Book of the Year Award Finalist


Dan Poytner’s Global eBook Business Book of the Year Award Finalist

"Vanston's company, Technology Futures, has been making predictions about technology and business trends since 1978. Here, he describes how individual entrepreneurs, as well as companies, can find and exploit "Minitrends"--small trends (not yet recognized by the public) that have the potential to grow. In five sections, he describes them and where they can be researched, lists a few he thinks have promise (such as providing facilities for growing numbers of freelance workers), and concludes with methods for developing products and services that exploit these trends. ...This title offers a new take on possible product development and investment avenues..." --Library Journal

"“In MINITRENDS, Technology Futures Inc. chairman John Vanston has distilled insights and techniques developed over a highly successful career in technology forecasting into a 189-page do-it-yourself guide to the early identification of those emerging developments that eventually become the next big things." --The Futurist

"This book spotlights specific "Minitrends" and trains people how to recognize them and take advantage of related job opportunities." --Yahoo News

"MINITRENDS should quickly become a-if not the-standard work for the futurist's search for business opportunities." --Joseph Coates, The Foresight Network's Futurist of the Year

"For the individual who wants to improve their personal finances, this volume proceeds from the process of searching for a Minitrend to developing an exploitation scheme." --Book News (Annotation©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)

From the Author

"The best way for individuals and businesses seeking to start new ventures or keep existing business innovative and competitive is to be constantly on the lookout for emerging trends that are not yet widely recognized. MINITRENDS is designed to help people do just that by providing practical guidance to individuals and organizations of all sizes for extracting business opportunities from emerging trends that have a realistic chance of becoming profitable in the next 2-5 years. By providing a mindset and process for initial idea generation and techniques to analyze and exploit these ideas, I hope this book provides you with the tools to launch your own exciting, profitable 'Minitrend Adventure.'"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Technology Futures, Inc. (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884154360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884154362
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Vanston is the award-winning author of "MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends," a book based on his more than 30 years of experience in identifying and applying technical, social, and business trends. His desire to share his extensive forecasting and trend analysis experience to help a broad audience find and exploit emerging trends as business opportunities inspired him to write the book with the collaboration of his daughter, Carrie Vanston. Several earlier books, also involve his life-long interest in forecasting and trend analysis.

John founded Technology Futures, Inc. (TFI) in 1978 and as President, and now Chairman, has built it into a a leading authority in custom research, forecasting, and trend analysis in telecommunications and other high-technology industries. He is an internationally-renowned consultant, educator, speaker, and author in the fields of technology forecasting, technology/market integration, trend analysis, and technology management in uncertain environments.

John has conducted analyses of emerging technologies for a wide range of commercial, government, and academic organizations including among many others Boeing, 3M, DuPont, Coca Cola, Kyocera, Exxon, IBM, Kodak, Nortel, Duke Power, Southern Company, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Edison Electric Institute, Industrial Research Institute, Georgia Tech, Columbia University, and the University of Houston. These analyses have assisted his business clients in gaining sustainable competitive advantage and provided his government clients with important new information and insights that have increased the effectiveness of their operations.

John gives presentations and conducts seminars on Minitrends, technology forecasting, and innovation management for organizations all over the world. As a former Army Officer, he has a special affinity toward those in the military service and has an open offer to conduct Minitrends seminars at very low rates for injured service men and women to assist them in identifying and taking advantage of new career opportunities.

Prior to establishing TFI, John served as a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and as the deputy director of the University's Center for Energy Studies. Earlier, John served as a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army.

MINITRENDS book collaborator Carrie Vanston has many years of experience in public relations, marketing, and sales at Technology Futures, Inc. and in the entertainment industry. Because the successful exploitation of a Minitrend requires effective marketing, she brings a real-world quality to the book, particularly in the media communications and social media areas.

John lives in Austin, Texas with his lovely wife, Angela. He has 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and leads a charmed life, indeed.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Attempting to predict the future is always a dicey proposition. But John Vanston has used his powerful, common-sense approach to identify what can only be described as the inevitable. Want to know what tomorrow will bring? Read this book.

The book stimulated me to think of a few Minitrends of my own:

* Unmanned technology in a manned world: The military is leading this charge with unmanned drones flying over war zones. The same company that creates robots that move into dangerous situations in lieu of soldiers produces Roomba robots that clean our floors and gutters. I wonder what other unmanned technology will seep from military to civilian applications. Makes you wonder who (if anyone) will be driving our cars in the future.

* Energy on the go: From phones to computers, things that used to stay at home now come with us. All of them require power. As these things have been asked to do more things, they typically require more and more energy to do them. Battery technology has improved, but there is still tremendous demand for increasingly powerful batteries to power everything from cars to cameras. You have a few brief mentions of batteries in the context of nano-technology but, given the billions of dollars being poured into this area, I think it's its own minitrend.

* Different kinds of public options: Vanston points out that the population is aging, so the need for health care will grow. This will drive some obvious trends, such as the development of new drugs and cutting edge treatments that will come (as he points out) of nano-technology. These have been already been well-explored. Though some other trends won't be the stuff of movies they will, while boring, will be significant nonetheless.
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Format: Paperback
As someone with strong interest in deciphering the future and preparing for it, I have read John Naisbitt's Megatrends and Peter Schwartz's The Art of the Long View among other books focusing on the large picture. After listening to Dr. John Vanston at an IEEE conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, I became very interested in reading his MINITRENDS book, coauthored with Carrie Vanston. Upon quickly reading the book,--which I enjoyed--, I realized that unlike Megatrends, which are more relevant for governments and large corporations, MINITRENDS are extremely important for entrepreneurs and individuals in the process of reinventing themselves. The book provides a systematic methodology for identifying MINITRENDS, selecting the right one, and developing a plan to profit from it. For the interested reader MINITRENDS provides numerous sources of information. But, this is certainly not a book on how to become rich and successful for the sake of it. John and Carrie recognize that "Man does not live on bread alone" and that to thrive, one should do whatever ones enjoys, which means that the route to success points both inwards and outwards to find a match. Along this line, at the end of the book they quote Joseph Campbell's "follow your bliss". I definitely recommend MINITRENDS to anyone looking for a way to reinvent his self.
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Format: Paperback
It's quite common to find people talking about the "major trends" society is dealing with... the rise of China as an economic superpower, the aging of our population, and so forth. These trends will obviously drive significant business opportunities, but they're far too large on which to build a business. You need to have something more concrete and bounded to act upon. John H. Vanston and Carrie Vanston wrote an interesting book that deals with this issue, titled MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends: Between Megatrends & Microtrends Lie MINITRENDS, Emerging Business Opportunities in the New Economy. They present a methodology for examining those megatrends to find smaller trends that can be the foundation for new products and services that can point you in new directions.

Contents:
Part 1 - The Value of Minitrends: Importance of Minitrends
Part 2 - Uncovering Minitrends: Searching for Minitrends; Where to Search for Minitrends
Part 3 - Some Attractive Minitrends: Minitrends for Individuals; Minitrends for Small and Medium-Size Companies; Minitrends for Large Companies
Part 4 - Prospering from Minitrends: Selecting a Minitrend for Exploitation; Developing a Minitrend Explotation Scheme; Putting the Exploitation Scheme into Action
Part 5 - Becoming a Mintrends Master: Here's the So What!
Index; About the Authors; Letter to Reader

What I found most impressive about the material is that it's not something that's confined to large companies with dedicated departments of "strategic thinkers." The chapter on searching for minitrends is practical and approachable for individuals as well as companies.
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Minitrends, to summarize the words of Dr. John Vanston who coined the term, are those directions of society, technology, economics, regulations, demography, and other fields that are just emerging, can possibly become quite significant soon, and often escape early notice. Unlike megatrends as described by John Naisbitt in his book by that name, the very fact that minitrends are liable to be overlooked offers huge opportunities for those wise enough to spot and capitalize on them.

Dr. Vanston's new book, "Minitrends: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends," offers a highly readable route through numerous examples of minitrends presented in a structure that makes grasping the concepts both enjoyable and a rapid read. His approach to searching for, discovering, and exploiting minitrends provides a handy trail that is easily followed and remembered. Each chapter ends not with a summary but with the question, "All very interesting, but frankly, so what?" Through this technique he keeps the reader moving toward the target of actually utilizing the views and techniques described. It's impossible to avoid the call to take action, as there are approaches offered for individuals and for small, medium-sized, and large companies. Wherever the reader is, there is a place for her or him in this book.

The path blazed is clear: assessment of value, searching, examples of small to large enterprise issues, and, finally, profiting from minitrends. Along the way Dr. Vanston introduces a number of concepts and stories from his experiences as a world-recognized futurist and founder of Technology Futures, Inc.
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