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Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes Paperback – Bargain Price, June 15, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Mark Penn has a keen mind, and a fascinating sense of what makes America and the world tick, and you see it on every page of Microtrends." (Bill Gates )
"Unrelentingly fascinating . . . a diligently researched tome chock-full of counterintuitive facts and findings that may radically alter the way you see the present, the future, and your places in both . . . Microtrends is the perfect bible for a game of not-so-trivial pursuits concerning the hidden sociological truths of modern times."
(The New York Times )
"A trivia-lover's dream...Penn adroitly manages to convey the relevance of such minutiae to the world at large."
(USA Today )
"Mark Penn has a remarkable gift for detecting patterns and identifying trends. The ideas in his book will help you see the world in a new way." (Bill Clinton )
Top Customer Reviews
Written so that the ideas presented can be processed in everything from bite-sized individual morsels to sectional chunks (e.g. Love, Sex, and Relationships).
-Sometimes staid writing
-Use of book to plug commercial contacts
(Microsoft's Zune, Mark, as leading some kind of social music revolution? the Zune? C'mon!)
-tendency to generalize anecdotes or a handful of data points he has seen into opinions he thinks are held by significant amounts of people
-highly timely, and will not age well
Microtrends is intriguing; for any watcher of society, Penn's book will likely tell you about social changes you already knew, will likely crystallize broader happenings you have-been-seeing-but-have-not-yet-realized or put a name to, and will likely introduce you to entirely new trends (and it is in these startling moments that the book becomes particularly worth the read).
Mark should be applauded for showing the value of numbers, and of data, in modern society. My only qualm with his idea-sourcing is how he never looks to the numbers to disprove a trend. Instead, he looks at them to justify what he already suspects. This is one of humanity's cognitive biases: the need to confirm what we think is true (rather than taking the alternate, harder, and ultimately more rewarding route of trying to disprove whether something is true, as real science does). While Penn is often right in his trends, that does not mean he will always be right, or that his methodology, as it stands, is not flawed.
Still, Penn effectively yanks the reader's attention in such a way that we can't help but notice new things about our daily world.Read more ›
Three decades ago, Penn sat in a Harvard library and read a book by Valdimer Orlando Key, Jr., in which he wrote that `voters are not fools.' Key was known for promoting realism and rationality in the analysis of politics and election returns. Voters and consumers should be seen as being rational. As Penn writes, it is not about a male candidate's necktie color, but real issues. If one takes the time to understand the trends, one can find the roots of behaviors and desires, and potentially the future consuming and voting patterns. To that end, Penn, a pollster for over 30 years (actually he first administered a poll on his teachers at the age of 13), Clinton's lead pollster/strategist, and the person credited with defining "soccer moms" (busy suburban mothers with families and careers and political policy goals who were swing voters in the last decade) has explored and highlighted 75 out of hundreds of microtrends - these small, under the radar forces that involve as little as 1% of America's population and registered prime voters - which may affect America's future.
In the book, Penn is quick to point out that a microtrend is not merely a development, like the increased use of debit cards or wives changing their surnames upon marriage, but a growing interest group with needs and desires which are unmet by the corporate or political environment.Read more ›
Instead, I read it almost straight through, as each of the seventy-five microtrends provided a perspective that was not only informational, but rather analytical and provocative: A new workforce that is increasingly choosing the non-profit sector, empty-nesters who dote on pets in their grown children's stead, a France that is turning its back on alcohol and smoking (if not necessarily joining the Pro-Semites on the other side of the Atlantic). Gender roles quietly turned on their head by men who are Dads later in life and women who assume greater leadership in print, in the prosecutor's office, and at the pulpit. The younger generation is undergoing a transformation as teenagers increasingly take to knitting in their leisure time and entrepreneurship becomes the latest lunchroom fad. While some had suggested that the new millennium would herald a sort of mundane, global uniformity, Penn and Zalesne discern a different trend entirely, one "in which choice, driven by individual tastes, becomes the dominant factor, and in which these choices are reinforced by the ability to connect and communicate with communities of even the smallest niches."
I shared the book with my wife, who told me her book club chose it (over fiction) for their next read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What social forces will have major impact in the next ten years? More than likely, whatever they are, there are already signs that they are at work changing our world. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Kevin Browne
It's a really interesting book, but Penn did get a few things wrong. History buffs will get a kick out of trying to figure out how right or wrong he was in each chapter.Published 22 months ago by Jillian St Andre
This book didn't charm me, I needed more facts then the author's crystal ball. Maybe the next version will be better.
very good book, clean condition like a brand new. very informative contents and authors clear view points. highly recommended to my friendsPublished on December 27, 2013 by peter lee
I think this author has concentrated on too many spreadsheets and not got out and familiarized himself with a true broad spectrum of how people really live. Read morePublished on March 29, 2013 by Sally Goodin
"Many of the biggest movements in America today are small--generally hidden from all but the most careful observe. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by Marc Comtois