Trends for 2014: The Year of Value Realization



“Don’t follow a trend. Follow your heart.” — Krist Novoselic

The purpose of this post is to inspire you with what’s possible in 2014 and help you re-imagine the future for you and the world around you.

I hope everybody is having a great start to 2014 … the year of the horse.
What does the year of the horse mean, anyway?
The year of the horse is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance.

Horses aside, 2014 is really …

The Year of Value Realization

There is a lot of potential value or unrealized potential in just about everywhere you look.   Value Realization is the art and science of extracting value from ideas, people, processes, products, projects, or anything really.

The key to Value Realization is to understand what value is, based on users, consumers, and stakeholder analysis, identifying benefits, costs, and risks, and then finding ways to generate value, capture value, realize value, and accelerate value.

Value Realization is also a personal thing.  People everywhere are looking for ways to generate new value, capture value, realize value, and accelerate value.

An effective strategy here is to live your values at work.

Expect to see more value-driven innovation, value-driven IT investments, and value-driven initiatives shaping the consumer world, small and medium businesses, Enterprises around the world, and the world at large.

Top 10 Trends for 2014

  1. Adoption and Change Leadership.    Ideas die without adoption.  Adopting new ideas, new approaches, and new technologies is how we grow, how we realize potential, and how we realize value.  Change Leadership is The New Leadership.  Change leadership skills are the key to transformation whether your changing yourself, your team, or the world.
  2. Agile is The New Productivity.   Agility is the name of the game.  Nature favors the flexible.  Learn to be an acrobat for life.  Businesses adapt or die.   Agile is more than a survival skill.  It’s how we thrive.  As the pace of change is accelerating, we need new skills to embrace change.  Agility and embracing change are the new productivity skills for work and life.  See Getting Results the Agile Way.
  3. Analytics everywhere.  Big data grows up and shows up in everything we say, use, and do.  Enterprise analytics might just be the next gold mine.
  4. Dream Teams the Virtual Way.  Has there ever been a better time to assemble a team of super heroes to change the world?   Build your dream team, ship ideas, and change the world.  99 puts 100,000+ designers are at your fingertips. is a leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work and hire top talent. gives you access over 2 million skilled freelancers from around the world. helps you hire people around the world to perform tasks and services, referred to as “gigs” beginning at a cost of $5 per job provides instant access to the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace. connects you to millions of quality freelancers where you can outsourcing your needs.
  5. Financial Intelligence.  You’ve heard of Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, and maybe even Positive Intelligence.  With efficient markets, global competition, and a ruthless focus on value, it’s time to embrace Financial Intelligence.  See Financial Intelligence for IT Professionals: What You Really Need to Know About the Numbers.
  6. Living local.  People are buying products from local areas, and helping their local economies.
  7. Personal Analytics.  When numbers get persona, we can change our lives.  Fitbit.comgives us some quick insight into our fitness activity against our goals at a glance.    Add more wearable computing to the mix and a growing “internet of things” and the possibilities are endless. gives you personal analytics for your financial health. gives you personal analytics on your social media and influence impact.  And, with the rise of life-long learners, expect new innovation in the world of education and personal learning analytics.
  8. SMAC Stack convergence.    Cognizant affectionately calls the 4 technology mega-trends (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud), the SMAC Stack.   People around the world are creating solutions that combine and seamlessly integrate Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud into everything.  As Roberto Mondrando, VP of SOA Software says in Welcome to the API Economy“Social everything, mobile everywhere.”
  9. Strategy gets Agile.  Agile Strategy is The New Strategy.  Strategy and strategic insight are worth a premium in today’s world.  If you can execute.  Failed personal and business strategies can cost you dearly.  But the game of strategy is changing.  The cycles are shorter.  Competition is more intense.  The global marketplace shifts power over night.  Disruptive innovation changes everything.  Creative destruction makes room for the new and enables future possibilities.  There’s a new role in town and the world is ready:  It’s the Agile Strategist.
  10. You as a Service.  Scale yourself to the world.   Productize yourself.  Turn what you know into a training course on   Build your own platform and sell information products, like a home-study course, eBook, or Toolkit.   Sell your skills as a service on Fiverr to a world-wide market of buyers.   Build a niche information site and share your expertise with the world.  Ship an app or an intelligent agent that changes the world.  As Steve Jobs said, “… put a dent in the universe.”

Trends for 2014

Key tip: Scan the list to pick up the big ideas, then circle back and explore the ones you find the most interesting in more detail.  Let the ideas marinade in your mind.

1. 3-D Printing changes the way we build stuff

Have you seen 3-D printers in action at your local neighborhood Microsoft Store?  It’s weird watching chess pieces, magic 8-balls, and other things get spun and spit out in real time.  As a friend puts it, “The real application is being able to invent new things and fix old ones (like cars).  Jeff Dunham makes his new puppets with one.”

2. 4 Workplace Archetypes

According to ISS 2020 Vision: New Ways of Working: The Workplace of the Future, there are 4 emerging workplace archetypes: Hierarchy’s “Ability to Solve in-house”,   Market Place’s Cluster Node, Adhocracy’s Distributed Office, and Clan “Village” Rule.  Hierarchy’s “ability to solve in-house” is structured + internal orientation.  Market place’s “cluster node” is structured + external orientation.  Clan “village” rule is flexibility + internal orientation.  Adhocracy’s distributed office is flexibility + external orientation. See 4 Workplace Archetypes: Hierarchy, Market Place, Adhocracy, and Village.

3. Adoption is the new bottleneck

Change outpaces adoption.  Cycles of change speed up even more thanks to technology, competition, and a connected world that’s “always on.” Life cycles shift to warp speed and lines blur between versions, creating living, breathing products. This creates pressure to master change management, adopt more Agile methods, and to figure out compliance and governance in the new landscape. In Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech, J.B. Wood shares how change outpaces adoption. Adoption is the bottleneck now. Customers don’t want more features until they can successfully consume and absorb the value of your products they already have. Adoption and change leadership become key enablers and critical to the success of product companies in a digital economy of “pay for play.”

4. Age of the Customer and Customer-Connected Development

The customer is the North Star.

5. API Economy

In Welcome to the API Economy, Roberto Medrano, VP of SOA Software , says “APIs become a primary customer interface for technology-driven products and services and a key channel for driving revenue and brand engagement.”  See The Age of Context and the API Economy – One can’t exist without the other, by Steven Willmott

6. Augmented reality and enchanted worlds

Curt Carlson, CEO of SRI , says, “The trend is an enchanted world— The trend is hyper-resolution augmented reality and hyper-accurate artificial people and objects that fundamentally enhance people’s experience of the world.”

7. Autonomy, Authenticity, and Meaning

According to the Trend Speech 2014 (PDF) , “We can say that there is progress and growth, only that progress is not necessarily financial. The emphasis is more on autonomy, authenticity and meaning. Values that are not easy to weigh but that represent a great value for people who have it.”

8. Baby Boomers shape innovation

The Baby Boomer generation dictates the technology products of the future.  Curt Carlson, CEO of SRI , says, “Technology is designed for—and disproportionately used by—the young. But the young are getting fewer. The big market will be older people. The aging generation has grown up with, and is comfortable with, most technology—but not with today’s latest technology products. Technology product designers will discover the Baby Boomer’s technology comfort zone and will leverage it in the design of new devices. One example today is the Jitterbug cell phone with a large keypad for easy dialing and powerful speakers for clear sound.”

9. Collaboration Economy

It’s the “Collaboration Economy.”  You can only compete over common ground for so long.  Otherwise known as The Fourth Wave: 1) Regulatory Compliance, 2) Strategic Environmentalism 3) Sustainability 4) Systems Thinking and Collaboration.  What’s this mean?  Look for impact on materials and supply chains, partnerships, careers, organizations, strategies, and markets, as people and systems collaborate, consolidate, and converge around the world’s resources and supplies.  See The Fourth Wave (Flickr) and The Collaboration Economy (Book Review.)

10. Consumption 2.0

Rent, subscribe, pay for play.  Renting is the new owning.  According to Patrick Tucker, deputy editor of the Futurist magazine, in his Top 10 Forecasts for 2014 and Beyond, “Buying and owning things will go out of style.” In Consumption 2.0,  Hugo Garcia  says, “The markets for housing, automobiles, music, books, and many other products show a common trend: Younger consumers opting to rent or subscribe to pay-per-use arrangements instead of buying and owning the physical products. Shared facilities will overtake established offices, renting units will become more common than owning a home, and sales of books and music might never become popular again.”

11. Context is everywhere and the Age of Context

It’s the rise of relevancy. The trend is contextual, real-time, and relevant. You see this in action with contextual live help, Google help outs, and live chats. In their book, Age of Context, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel write about five radically expanding technologies: 1 ) Sensors 2) Wearable computing, 3) Big Databases 4) Social network behavior, 5) Location. This paves the way for Context-Relevant Shopping. It’s like a buyer-aware ballroom and relevancy is king. In her article Commerce Weekly: Predicting 2013, Jenn Webb summarizes insight from PayPal president, David Marcus: “He sees cash registers going mobile, with customers able to pay from the store aisle or even the changing room, and predicts location-aware and context-relevant shopping and payments will be more disruptive than many now expect.”

12. Creator Revolutions

According to the Trend Speech 2014 (PDF), “People organize their own money and support by making smart connections. Internet is the vehicle. Virtual social networks are the movement. Together they lead to a ‘creator’ revolution. Production, communication and distribution fall free and are reinvented by means of technology (the 3D printer for example) and kept in their own hands. 25 million people trade their own art or creative products via Etsy. Together it is almost a billion dollars. That is not a small shop anymore.”

13. Customer Service Avatars

According to Richard Watson, Customer Service Avatars are the future.  Watson says, “If you thought it was already bad trying to get hold of an actual person to complain about something, things are quite likely to get much worse.  Try calling LinkedIn, for instance. There’s a phone number to call, but if you call it you get trapped in what can only be described as a telephonic version of Groundhog Day. The message could not be clearer: Don’t call us. Ever. … Facebook, for instance, only has one employee for every 300,000 users so it has more or less hung up on the idea of talking to customers directly and focuses instead on automated systems which ‘process’ 2 million customer requests per day.”   Watson continues, “Nevertheless, customer service avatars are coming and so too are more companies where it’s impossible to speak to a human being about something that doesn’t work. While many will see this as a problem, a few far-sighted companies will see such developments as an opportunity to swim against the tide and do the opposite.”   See Don’t call us and we won’t call you.

14. Design-Led Innovation and user-experience wins in the market

The apps that make you feel good, make you personally effective and connect with others win.   Great user experiences drive adoption and make things stick.  This is a great area for innovation, patterns, and practices.  When you think about the possibilities of rich media, touch, speech, location-aware services, and “you-as-the-remote control”, the possibilities for amazing and immersive experiences are endless.  More importantly, we can finally start showing how software improves productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and fun.  It’s gamer + education + business + life.

15. Developing countries turn around the flow of innovation

Learn from the early adopter economies.    Curt Carlson, CEO of SRI , says, “As developing countries leapfrog the need for physical infrastructure and brokers, using mobile apps to conduct micro-scale business and to improve quality of life, they are innovating new applications. The developing world is quickly becoming the largest market we’ve ever seen—for mobile computing and much more. The trend is for developing countries to turn around the flow of innovation: Silicon Valley will begin to learn more from them about innovative applications than they need to learn from us about the underlying technology.”

16. Digital amplifies what’s possible

Jeff Bezos of Amazon had 3 big ideas: 1) Digital enables limitless inventory, 2) Digital boosts customer care, and 3) Digital allows high margin, lowest prices.  Limitless inventory, digital driven supply chain, limitless categories to chase the long tail, and create new markets, combine with data-driven and analytics for better insight and smarter products, and customer-connected, continuous learning.  Digital goods, digital delivery, devices + services, digital payments, ecosystem in the digital economy.   See Stéphane Distinguin, The Hidden Empire, faberNovel, May 2011.

17. Digital Economy

The future is here, as money, jobs, and value go digital. Bill Gates talked about a digital economy in The Road Ahead. Back in 1997, In his book, The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril In The Age of Networked Intelligence, Don Tapscott talked about how how “children, empowered by new technology, are taking the reigns from their boomer parents and making inroads into all areas of society, including our education system, the government, and economy.”

18. Dynamic connections and directions over anchored certainties

According to Trend Speech 2014 (PDF), “We don’t look any longer in awe towards authorities. We look around us openly. We step out of static systems and form dynamic connections. We leave the idea of one linear road that leads us in the direction of improvement and innovation. The path towards the future is not a long march straight ahead but a network. There is no clear beginning and end. There is no start or finish. There are only knots and connections between them. … Working from the perspective of dynamic directions implies admitting uncertainty, accepting that we will not know everything but will only be able to indicate a path without a tight structure.  As the current frames have focused on eliminating mistakes, pathways offer the chance to steer, to practice, to fail and to learn.  The dynamics of the process and the temporary connections take the place of anchored certainties.”

19. Empire of One

Thomas Malone and Robert Laubacher say, “The fundamental unit of the new economy is not the corporation, but the individual.”   According to Thomas Frey of the DaVinci Institute, “Running a solo business in the past meant that you had a one-person practice, most often offering a professional service, well suited for lawyers, accountants, and doctors.  However, a new breed of solo business has emerged that allows people to leverage the power of the Internet and control a vast empire from their home office or wherever they happen to be.  Across the world thousands of people are giving birth to what is being called an ‘Empire of One’.”     See DaVinci Institute on One-Person Empires Taking Control of the Emerging Global Economy.

20. Enterprise Apps and Enterprise App Stores

In 5 Reasons for Having an Enterprise App Store, Joe McKendrick says,”Of course, with enterprise apps, we’re not talking about $1.99 games or comic book guides. Enterprise app stores are directories of productivity and industrial-scale apps such as purchase order generators or customer list managers.”   As BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) catches on, and mobile platforms become pervasive, Enterprise App Stores are on the rise.  In an article Following BYOD, It’s Enterprise Stores for Mobile App Development, Bhopal says, “According to security vendor Symantec’s 2012 State of Mobility Survey, 71 per cent of organizations surveyed across the globe were considering launching a corporate app store.Gartner states that the corporate app store is one of its Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012.”

21. Future of Education and New Ways of Learning

Self-Education + Learner-First + Learning Analytics + MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) + Personalize Learning.   See DaVinci Institute on Building the Mind of the Future: The Future of Colleges & Universities: Blueprint for a Revolution.   See Association of American Publishers on Top Education Trends for 2014  and Top Education Technical Trends for 2014.

22. Future of Health and New Ways of Healing

Self-Health + Health Analytics + Intelligent Agents + bio-engineering.   Thanks to advances in Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, telemedicine takes off.  Doctors can consult with patients, peers, and specialists from anywhere.   “The doctor is in”—online—for people around the world.   According to the American Telemedicine Organization, “Formally defined, telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.“Don’t be surprised if kiosks show up at a mall near you to connect to doctors in more specialized ways.

23. Future of Work and New Ways of Working

The ISS 2020 Vision white book, ‘New Ways of Working – the workplace of the future‘ is based on in-depth research and a global survey among more than 600 Facility Management experts.  In it the authors outline 8 strategic themes that will impact new ways of working:   1) Paradigm shift towards innovation society increases the need for continuous adaptation, 2) Technology as the enabler of increased collaboration and change in the workplace, 3) Urban areas allow workers and companies to better leverage their surroundings, 4) Polarization of the labor force leads to polarization of workplace amenities, 5) Workforce diversity means that the workplace will have to be more amenable to an increasing number of workers’ needs, 6) Growing need to focus on employee health and well-being, 7) Workspace personalization will continue to create workplace tension, 8) Sustainability and the workplace of the future.  For an inspiring vision of the future, see Video: Productivity Future Vision by Microsoft Office.   For a framework for the future of work, see Smart Enterprise and Next-Generation Enterprise below in this list.

24. Individual Strength as a Source

Use your talents and strength as a source of meaning and contribution to the world.  According to the Trend Speech 2014, “It is writing on the wall that people everywhere are looking for the heart of the matter.  Of this we have lost sight by putting the emphasis on all quarterly messages and responsibility protocols.  It is for a reason that there is a lot of attention for craftsmanship and personal driving forces.  Those who cannot sail along with the collective need to go back to their own source.  From meeting the expectations we move in the direction of personal meaning.  This is exactly the reason that ‘individual strength’ is one of the most used concepts of our time.  The highest form of status is to have and offer significant meaning.  To ask youngsters what they want to become is considered old-fashioned.  We don’t become something.  We are already someone.  Better is to ask, ‘what is your strength’ or ‘how to retrieve meaning from your talent?’

25. Infrastructure as code

Continuous delivery and DevOps have elevated our thinking about infrastructure. The implications of thinking about infrastructure as code and the need for new tools are still evolving.”    See Thoughtworks Technology Radar, May 2013

26. Intelligent Agents and Artificial Intelligence

In Churchill Club Top 10 Trends Debate (Flickr), Steve Jurvetson says ,“Artificial intelligence as exemplified by the Mentifex AI Mind in JavaScript that can now think visibly in English. Shameless plug, yes — but True AI is here, the rabbit died, and the cat is out of the bag.”

27. Internet of things, sensors, and Smart Environments

In Top 10 Forecasts for 2014 and Beyond, Patrick Tucker, deputy editor of the Futurist magazine, says, “Thanks to big data, the environment around you will anticipate your every move.” Related, in Mapping the Future with Big Data, Tucker said, “Computerized sensing and broadcasting abilities are being incorporated into our physical environment, creating what is sometimes called an ‘Internet of things.’ Data flowing from sensor networks, RFID tags, surveillance cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, and geo-tagged social-media posts will telegraph where we’ve been and where we are going. In the future, these data streams will be integrated into services, platforms, and programs that will provide a window into the lives, and futures, of billions of people.”

28. Nanotechnology and Atomically precise manufacturing

According to Patrick Tucker, deputy editor of the Futurist magazine, in his Top 10 Forecasts for 2014 and Beyond:  “Atomically precise manufacturing will make machinery, infrastructure, and other systems more productive and less expensive.  What the term ‘nanotechnology’ really refers to, according to K. Eric Drexler—the father of the concept—is atom-by-atom production, which will allow for extraordinary improvements in manufacturing all things. One major benefit could be far cleaner energy, such as liquid hydrocarbon fuels produced using hydrogen from water and carbon from recycled CO2.”

29. Personal Ecosystems

According to the Trend Speech 2014 (PDF) , “The new starting point is that everyone builds his own personal eco system and tries to keep it healthy as well as possible. The depth of this social revolution cannot be emphasized enough. All the institutions that we have called to life to bundle the interests of citizens are being threatened in their existence. It all seems to become less at this moment but eventually it will surface that we receive a new worth instead. The energy no longer comes from the big collective but from ourselves. Self-organization is the source energy of our society.”

30. Populations shrink

In Top 10 Forecasts for 2014 and Beyond, Patrick Tucker, deputy editor of The Futurist Magazine, says,  “By 2020 populations will shrink, and wealth will shrink with them.  By 2020, half of the human race will live in countries where the birthrates have fallen below the death rates, and consequently, populations are shrinking. The cause is the combination of older adults living longer and fewer children being born. The countries will grapple with shrinking tax bases and workforces despite widening pools of retirees demanding social-security and health-care payouts. Society will survive, but GDPs will fall markedly throughout the world and probably never fully rise back up.”

31. Que Sera and the end of the Perfection Illusion

According to the Trend Speech 2014“The makeability of things is growing incredibly. The makeability of people has it’s limits. Parents and advertising have indoctrinated children that they can do and become whatever they want, that they can make their lives perfect if only they really go for it, that everything is possible. Thus children are stuck with a perfection illusion.  We forecast that there will come an end to the makeability ideal.  It doesn’t make us happy to strive for a perfect life, mainly because we will always fail perfection.  Author Arnon Grunberg writes in the newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’:’The problem of modernity is that there is no room for destiny, the tragic.  Something sad happens and we expect the government to immediately take measures to avoid this from every happening again.  This is naive.  We live on a a tragic planet which means that there are powers stronger than us.  We need to accept this,’Opposite individual Strength we still find Force Majeure.  The assignment for the coming years is to make the things that are makeable and to accept the things that are not achievable.  We see the rise a new ‘Que Sera’ movement.”

32. Sharing is the New Owning

“Sharing is the new owning. We are sharing this Trend Speech with you. Now we own it, together.” See the Trend Speech 2014.

33. Smart Cities

Is your city smarter than a 5th grader?  According to Wikipedia, “A city can be defined as ‘smart’ when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory action and engagement. (Caragliu et al. 2009).”   You can identify and rank a Smart city based on six main dimensions: 1) a smart economy, 2) smart mobility, 3) a smart environment, 4) smart people, 5) smart living, 6) smart governance

34. Smart Devices beyond the phone

What happens when the things you use everyday get smart?  In Why Google Just Bought Nest, the “Smart Thermostat” Company, Will Oremus says, “Google just announced that it’s buying Nest for $3.2 billion, in the highest-profile tech acquisition of the young year.  Nest is best known for its smart thermostat, which learns your habits over time and adjusts your heat settings accordingly. More broadly, the startup appeared well-positioned to build a platform for other Internet-connected devices in the home.”

35. Smart Enterprise and the Next-Generation Enterprise

It’s related to the Future of Work and New Ways of Working, but it’s the Next-Generation Enterprise.  According to Cognizant, in their whitepaper Making the Shift to the Next Generation Enterprise, big businesses need to RETHINK the business model, REINVENT business processes, and REWIRE operations, across 8 Enablers:  1) Community Interaction, 2) Innovation, 3) Worker Empowerment, 4) Virtual Collaboration, 5) Customer Empowerment, 6) Commercial Model Flexibility, 7) Value Chain Flexibility, and 8) Flexible Service Delivery.

36. Television 2.0 and The Golden Age of Digital Television

TV 2.0 or Internet TV or The Golden Age of Digital Television is ripe for growth.  According to Motley Fool, there’s a war for your living room, and the race is on.  According to the Fools, it’s not the platform that wins in the end, but it’s the creators and keeps of compelling content.   The analysis of “Television 2.0 — “The $2.2 Trillion War for your Living Room Begins Now”, by the folks at Stock Gumshoe, is very interesting.   Apparently, the advice is rather than bet on Google, Apple, Amazon, or Netflix, bet on content providers such as Disney (DIS), Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), and Discovery Communications (DISCA) as the potential big winners.

37. Tribes and wolf-packs

More people are getting ahead, or falling behind depending on their social network.   Who you hang with holds you back, or helps you get ahead by making connections, and learning better, faster, cheaper than ever before.

38. True Social

“The trend is the rise of true social networks, designed to maintain real, respectful relationships online.”  It’s not Facebook and its clones.  It’s social rising from networks you already trust, such as LinkedIn and PayPal.  See Churchill Club Top 10 Trends Debate (  Related, “Royan says trend in social networks has been increased functionality; look at PayPal, essentially a trust early social network, he says that kind of thing is much easier to build around, real networks and identities we have.“ See Churchill Club Top 10 Trends Debate (Flickr)

39. Value creation by means of social networks

According to the Trend Speech 2014 (PDF), “Asynchronous Reciprocity we call it. People help each other in exchange for acknowledgement, status or just because it is fun. New eco systems grow because of intangible values, of social capital. Clay Shirky launched The Great Spare Time Revolution: instead of losing time on unilateral consumption such as watching television, people rather like to make an active connection and thus contribute to eco systems of their preference. A new trend takes shape: people who like to create sustainable values via one- off formations on a basis of equality. That is why the economic limitations disappear which were applied in the past. Value creation by means of social networks means that we are no longer tied to traditional economic limitations such as time, place and means.”  See the Trend Speech 2014 (PDF).

40. We are the Borg, device implants, and electronically enhanced you

It’s not just wearable computing.  Devices are ingestible and implantable, too  Implants, smart pills and electronic tattoos will change the medical field, among other arenas.   Smart pills and smart “stick on” tattoos can send relay vital signs of a patient to doctors.  Doctors gather detailed data on “neural signatures” of illnesses through implants.  “In the next 10 to 20 years we will see rapid development in bioengineered and man-machine interfaces,” predicted Graafstra, who wrote a book about the technology, adding that the trend is going to “push the boundaries of what it means to be human.”  See Device implants will push the boundaries of what it means to be human, and We are the Borg.

41. Wearable Computing

You can wear computers in more ways than one:  Watches, wrist bands, eyeglasses, t-shirts, and more.

Big Ideas for 2014. Top Influencers on What’s Coming (60+ Big Ideas)

In 60+ Big Ideas for 2014. Top Influencers on What’s Coming, LinkedIn Influencers picked one big idea that will shape 2014.  Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra, and more share their insights and prediction of 2014 trends.

Here is my hand-picked selection of some of the big ideas that I found the most interesting:

  1. Big Idea 2014: A Tipping Point for the Internet of Things (Ted Leonsis, Founder, Chairman, CEO)
  2. Big Idea 2014: Authenticity Goes Viral (Elliot S. Weissbluth, CEO & Founder at HighTower)
  3. Big Idea 2014: Banking Goes Virtual (Neil Weinberg, Editor-in-Chief at American Banker)
  4. Big Idea 2014: Be an Actual Superhero (Bruce Kasanoff, Author)
  5. Big Idea 2014: Creating a Culture of Health (Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  6. Big Idea 2014: Discomfort Is the New Comfort Zone (Francisco D’Souza, CEO at Cognizant Technology Solutions)
  7. Big Idea 2014: Embracing a Mobile World (Randy Kessler (Past Chair, ABA Family Law Section)
  8. Big Idea 2014: Entrepreneurship Without Boundaries (Christopher M. Schroeder, Internet/Media CEO; Venture Investor; Writer on Startups, Emerging Markets and the Middle East)
  9. Big Idea 2014: Finally — Home Tech ‘The Jetsons’ Would Appreciate (Pete Flint, CEO at
  10. Big Idea 2014: Find a Sponsor Who Believes In Your Potential (Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Founder of Center for Talent Innovation & Hewlett Chivée Partners LLC)
  11. Big Idea 2014: Geo-Targeting Is Everywhere (Gurbaksh Chahal, Chairman & CEO at RadiumOne)
  12. Big Idea 2014: Goodbye Silicon Valley, Hello Silicon Cities (Bruce K., Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution)
  13. Big Idea 2014: Let’s Close the Digital Learning Gap (Karen Cator, CEO at Digital Promise)
  14. Big Idea 2014: Listen to the Wisdom of All (Arne Sorenson, President and CEO at Marriott International)
  15. Big Idea 2014: Making Learning a Daily Habit (Lynda Weinman, Cofounder,, Inc.)
  16. Big Idea 2014: Move Over, Big Data—It’s Time for Personal Analytics (Heather Hiles, CEO / Founder, Pathbrite)
  17. Big Idea 2014: More Small Businesses Will Launch Than Ever Before (Gary Swart, CEO, oDesk)
  18. Big Idea 2014: Nonprofits Must Get Lean to Change the World (Ben Mangan, Social Sector Provocateur, EARN CEO, Lecturer at UCBerkeley Haas School of Business)
  19. Big Idea 2014: Rise of Career Buddies (Partnering Will Be Hot!) (J.T. O’Donnell, Founder & CEO of
  20. Big Idea 2014: Tech Will Change the Way Gen Y Gets Hired (Shara S., CEO & Co-Founder at Intern Sushi)
  21. Big Idea 2014: Technology as an Enabler – Not an Intruder – in Healthcare (Mary Pat W., Physician Advocate at
  22. Big Idea 2014: The One Crucial Leadership Skill is Agility (James Citrin, Leader, CEO Practice at Spencer Stuart)
  23. Big Idea 2014: The Year of Context (Sam Shank, CEO and Co-Founder at HotelTonight)
  24. Big Idea 2014: The Year of the Entrepreneur (Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group)
  25. Big Idea 2014: When A Big Idea is The Big Idea… (Bill McComb, Chief Executive Officer at Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc.)
  26. Big Idea 2014: You’ll Be Replaced By A Moneyball Executive (Unless You’re One) (Jordy Leiser, Co-Founder and CEO at StellaService)
  27. Big Idea 2014: You Will Transform Your Own Biology (Deepak Chopra, MD)

For the full list of trends and their write ups, see 60+ Big Ideas for 2014. Top Influencers on What’s Coming,

Summary of Additional Key Trends for 2014

Here is a table that provides a bird’s-eye view across a few trend sources and the top trends for 2014.

Tech Predictions for Businesses in 2014, by J. P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research serving Infrastructure & Operations Professionals

  • Facial recognition in stores: You’ll walk into a store and it “knows you” and customizes your shopping, as Tesco is doing with facial recognition software that allows it to serve up appropriate ad content in its stores. But will shoppers approve?
  • Gestural computing: finally hitting the big time, with new applications, including manipulating and navigating medical imaging.
  • Intelligent assistants: Intelligent agents like Siri and Watson will start to look more useful, interesting, and easier. They’ll help people shop, manage calendars, and surprise users by mining personal data. They’ll start to reshape the way we compute altogether.
  • Mobility: Customers will actively shun businesses that lack mobile applications to enrich their experiences.
  • Wearables: Will come to the enterprise, often in customer-facing situations. Google Glass could be the next big App Platform.

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014

  1. 3-D Printing
  2. Cloud/Client Architecture
  3. Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker
  4. Mobile Apps and Applications
  5. Mobile Device Diversity and Management
  6. Smart Machines
  7. Software Defined Anything
  8. The Era of Personal Cloud
  9. The Internet of Everything
  10. Web-Scale IT

Future Foundation
Trends 2014 Sample Report (PDF)

  • Breaking the Fourth Wall : Brands create immersive experiences for synesthetic moments of delight
  • Catwalk Computing: Wearable connectivity allows technology to reach into the very fabric of our lives
  • Narrative Data : Consumers expect their data to be transformed, real-time, into a personalized plan. We want Big Data to tell us useful stories about our lives
  • Once Is Not Enough: No single age – or life stage – is any longer defined by a pre-packaged set of expectations and behaviors
  • Power of Anon: As Big Data becomes Big Reality, social networkers will look to platforms that facilitate more selective sharing – sharing that is public yet also private
  • Probability Gets Personal: Consumers harness predictive technologies to pre-empt and prioritize decisions
  • Recovery Blues: Many consumers will continue to need diplomatic encouragement to spend from brands
  • The Death of Risk: Risk is the new evil and safety the new morality, with under-24s one of the least ‘leap-in-the-dark’ generations we have ever seen
  • The Versat-Aisle Shopper: Retail experiences that flow naturally between home and store, street and aisle, mobile and market
  • Totally Bespoke: Techno-innovation drives ultra-personalization and a new route to premiumisation
  • Wired Guanxi: A more human face – Soft Power – for e-commerce and Big Data

Global Trends
10 Key Trends to Watch for 2014

  1. From social everything to being smart socially
  2. Information security: The genie is out of the bottle
  3. Who needs shops anyway?
  4. Redistributing the industrial revolution
  5. Hubonomics: The new face of globalization
  6. Sci-Fi is here: Making the impossible, possible
  7. Growing pains: Transforming markets and generations
  8. Panic versus denial: The resource gap grows, the global risks rise – but who is listening?
  9. Fighting unemployability and unemployerability
  10. Surviving in a bipolar world: From expecting consistency to embracing ambiguity

The 5 in 5

  1. A digital guardian will protect you online
  2. Buying local will beat online
  3. Doctors will routinely use your DNA to keep you well
  4. The city will help you live in it
  5. The classroom will learn you

Top 7 Social Trends that Will Emerge in 2014

  1. Social business is not just about collaboration, it’s about unlocking the engines of collective knowledge, differentiated expertise, and rapid learning.
  2. Social Businesses will begin to tap behavioral data to help drive decision making.
  3. The rise of the individual & “marketing as a service.”
  4. Social takes on talent management.
  5. The customer-activated social enterprise will drive innovations that really matter.
  6. The true convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics, and the Cloud.
  7. Brand journalism will begin to gain traction.

IBM’s Predictions: 6 Big Data Trends In 2014

  1. More analytics, fewer gut feelings.
  2. Businesses get serious about big data privacy and security.
  3. A bigger investment in big data.
  4. Welcome, Chief Data Officer.
  5. Smarter big data apps.
  6. Outside data is as important as inside data.

Motley Fool
Key Trends:

  • 3D printing
  • Medical technology
  • Mobile entertainment
  • Personal wellness
  • Wearable computing

7 Hot Technology Trends in 2014

  1. Mobile Continues Taking Over the World
  2. A new wave of social companies ready for their IPO moment
  3. Wearables keep making progress, but sensors might be the future
  4. The “Internet of Things” promises to connect our lives in new ways
  5. Your car will soon be fully connected to your digital life
  6. Video game consoles become entertainment hubs; smartphones become gaming systems
  7. New media face off against entrenched cable

Richard Watson
Other Ideas to Watch

  1. Avatar assistants
  2. Biomimicry
  3. Clean coal
  4. Comfort eating
  5. Contextual de?cit
  6. Diminishing use of email
  7. Decline of voice communication
  8. Electri?cation of transport
  9. Facial recognition on mobile phones
  10. Gene hacking
  11. Holographic telepresence
  12. Increasing complexity
  13. Local living
  14. Mobile money
  15. Peak water
  16. Peer-to-peer lending/giving
  17. Quantum computing
  18. Reverse migration
  19. Self-tracking
  20. Smart infrastructure
  21. Slow education
  22. Shift from products to experiences
  23. Ultra-e?cient solar
  24. Value rede?nition
  25. Voluntary simplicity

Sandy Carter
Sandy Carter on 14 Trends for 2014 (Video)

  1. Internet of Things
  2. Analytics 3.0
  3. Rise of niche social networks
  4. Rise of image-centric networks
  5. Rise of SoundCloud and audio-sharing
  6. Klout is the new SAT score
  7. Digital content creators needed!
  8. Collaborative economy employment models
  9. Customers mobilized as influencers
  10. New role: Chief Customer Office
  11. Instant and ephemeral content
  12. Marketing as media
  13. New incentives for user-generated content
  14. The blog is back!

Steven Sinofsky
Designing for Exponential Trends of 2014

  1. Low-cost/high-function devices.
  2. Cloud productivity.
  3. Cloud first becomes cloud-only.
  4. WWAN communication tools.
  5. Cross-platform challenge.
  6. Small screen/big screen divergence.
  7. Urban living is digital living.
  8. Sharing becomes normal.
  9. Phablets are normal.
  10. Storage quotas go away.

The Trend Speech 2014
The Trend Speech 2014 (PDF)

  1. A retaining reservoir full of innovation
  2. Self-organizing cross connections
  3. Fluid eco systems

Trend Hunters
2014 Trend Report

  • Adult Playgrounds – Play areas designed for grown-ups help to alleviate stress
  • Augmented Reality Shopping – Virtual interactivity is changing the traditional purchasing experience
  • Cottage Couture – Cabin life conveys a toned-down opulence while emphasizing nature
  • Democratic Selling – Online retailers rely on customer votes to push production
  • Fairytale Realism – Infusing archetypal heroines into modern-day scenarios to evoke empathy
  • Geriatric Couture – Seniors become the anti-fashion inspiration for young people
  • Hyperrealism – Real life is simulated in photorealistic artworks that defy deception
  • Interactive Retail – Stores focus on customer engagement as primary business strategy
  • Lesscapism – Less luxury is more as consumers search for a truly unique vacation
  • Perpetual Adaptation – Obsessed with aesthetics, society embarks on the eternal makeover
  • Radical Rebranding – Pushing boundaries of reinvention to gain consumer attention
  • Rise of the Tease – Fashions that rest on the border of risqué
  • Social Appvertising – Brands use Facebook apps to further interactive campaigns
  • Social Media Detox – Privacy-deprived consumers look to isolation as a reaction against social media
  • Social Shopping – Shopaholics are using social media for networking and retail therapy
  • Urbane Naturalism – Wooden decor & furnishings let city-dwellers bring the outdoors, indoors
  • Vending 3.0 – Hi-tech features turn vending machines into interactive buying experiences
  • Virtual Globetrotting – Experiencing the wonders of the world without leaving home

Key Resources at a Glance

  • Cognizant – A global leader in business and technology services, helping clients bring the future of work to life — today.
  • DaVini Institute – The DaVinci Institute is a non-profit futurist think tank. But unlike traditional research-based consulting organizations, the DaVinci Institute operates as a working laboratory for the future human experience A community of entrepreneurs and visionary thinkers intent on discovering the (future) opportunities created when cutting edge technology meets the rapidly changing human world.
  • Faith Popcorn – The “Trend Oracle.”  Faith is a key strategist for BrainReserve and trusted advisor to the CEOs of The Fortune 500.  She’s identified movements such as, “Cocooning,” “AtmosFear,” “Anchoring,” “99 Lives,” “Icon Toppling” and “Vigilante Consumer.”
  • Future Foundation – Future focused, applied, global consumer insight.
  • Forrester – Research to help you make better decisions in a world where technology is radically changing your customer.
  • Gartner – The the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company.
  • Global Trends – Helps organizations and their leaders to navigate a complex, interconnected and uncertain world to stay ahead.
  • IBM Executive Exchange – An issues-based portal providing news, thought leadership, case studies, solutions, and social media exchange for C-level executives.
  • Jim Carroll – A world-leading futurist, trends, and innovation expert, with a track record for strategic insight.  He is author of the book The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast, and he shares major trends, as well as trends by industry, on his site.
  • Motley Fool – Motley Fool – To educate, amuse, and enrich.
  • O’Reilly Radar – Insight, analysis, and research about emerging technologies.
  • Richard Watson – A futurist author, speaker and scenario planner, and the chart maker behind The Table of Trends and Technologies for the World in 2020 (PDF). Watson is author of the What’s Next Top Trends Blog. Watson is the author of 4 books: Future Files, Future Minds, Futurevision, and The Future: 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know.
  • Sandy Carter — Sandy Carter is IBM Vice President  of Social Business and Collaboration, and author of The New Language of Marketing 2.0, The New Language of Business, and Get Bold: Using Social Media to Create a New Type of Social Business.  She’s not just fun to read or watch – she has some of the best insight on social innovation.
  • The Futurist Magazine – A magazine of forecasts, trends, and ideas about the future.
  • Thoughtworks Technology Radar
  • Trend Hunter – Each day, Trend Hunter features a daily dose of micro-trends, viral news and pop culture. The most popular micro-trends are featured on Trend Hunter TV and later grouped into clusters of inspiration in our Trend Reports, a series of tools for professional innovators and entrepreneurs.

Key Trends Lists at a Glance

Free Reports and Downloads

  • Cognizant: Making the Shift to the Next Generation Enterprise (PDF)
  • ISS 2020 Vision: New Ways of Working: The Workplace of the Future (PDF) – Provides strategic themes shaping the future workplace strategies based on in-depth research and a global survey among more than 600 Facility Management experts.
  • Future Foundation: 2014’s Hottest Trends (PDF) – Distills the key narratives set to shape the global consumer landscape in 2014 and their implications for markets and brands.
  • Global Trends: Looking Ahead: The Best of 2014 Trends (PDF) – Annual round-up of where you can find some of the more interesting and important trend forecasts and ideas for 2014. As always, treat them as directional and informed opinions that can supplement your own thinking on what might be possible, feasible and desirable – not accurate predictions
  • Table of Trends and Technologies for the World in 2020 (PDF)
  • Trend Speech 2014 (PDF)  – The Trend Speech is a presentation of 12 trend watchers and forecasters for the Netherlands, inspired by the Dutch Throne Speech at Prince Day. The futurists offer inspiration, show how the future unfolds, and what we can do with it.

Let’s see what we can do to stack the deck in our favor for some private victories.

Knowledge is Power

This is where what you know can help you.  I’ve put many hours of research at your fingertips and an arsenal of insight about the trends going on in the world around us, as the world goes social, businesses go cloud, everything gets mobile, and people and machines get better together, and analytics for everything brings us new levels of insight.

The possibilities are endless and the ways in which you can exploit the trends for your personal life, for business, or to change the world, are pretty much limited by your own imagination.

Let 2014 be the year that you set your future on fire.

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