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Spotting “logarithmic” or “exponential” growth patterns is one way of being among first to capitalise on new ideas and trends; futurist predicts “next big thing” is technology worn as jewellery

Posted by gmarkets on 27 September, 2007

“If you think about history, we know clearly what happened quite recently, but the further back you go, it tends to get a bit fuzzy,” said Australian futurist Craig Rispin. “We are like a reverse historian,” he said, reported The Courier Mail (11/9/2007, p.57).

Businesses flock to hear Rispin advice: Rispin, 41, had made a career out of knowing what’s coming before it gets here and business executives call on him to help secure a better future for their companies. Rispin was to speak on 12 September at the Australian Institute of Management’s excellence awards in Brisbane. He is a man in demand and can list Nintendo, IBM, Apple, Coca-Cola, AOL Time Warner and the Commonwealth Bank on his CV.

Logarithms to predict the future: But rather than mystically looking into the stars, Rispin uses a series of techniques and logarithms to try and predict the future. Rispin says while it might appear that some innovations seem to explode out of nowhere, the fact is that most take a long time to develop and become popular. He uses the mobile phone as an example. “It took 25 years for us to get into a million mobile phones, but only another 10 to get to 10 million. A little beyond that there was 1 billion and this year we’ll get to 3 billion mobile phones.”

Spot the pattern, reap the cash: Rispin says spotting these “logarithmic” or “exponential” growth patterns is one way of being among the first to capitalise on new ideas and trends. Currently exercising the minds of many executives, said Rispin, is the “talent war – the labour shortage” which he said is going to get worse in Australia.

Rispin reveals next big thing: So what does Rispin think will be the “next big thing” when it comes to consumers? “It’s going to be technology worn as jewellery,” he says confidently. “Just like how processors moved out from computers, devices and shrinking in size. Why have a mobile phone in your pocket when you could wear it? You can already see how they are becoming more a fashion item and less about technology.”

The Courier Mail, 11/9/2007, p. 57

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