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Interview with Professional Trend Spotter and Author Jeremy Gutsche
The Fresh Peel is pleased to welcome Jeremy Gutsche, founder of the wildly popular TrendHunter.com and author of Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change, which is the featured book for October’s stop on the Post2Post Virtual Book Tour.
Not only is Jeremy one of the founders at TrendHunter, but he is also a highly sought after speaker. He was one of Capital One’s youngest Business Directors and innovation leads. Prior to Capital One, Jeremy advised top-level strategy to Fortune 50 and government clients as a Management Consultant at the Monitor Group.
In this interview, I picked Jeremy’s brain on everything from finding innovation out of chaos to what his response is to opponents of trend spotting.
Q: Is chaos a necessary ingredient for innovation?
Jeremy: It’s not required, but during periods of chaos, consumer needs change. This presents an opportunity for companies who are able to identify these needs.
Q: What are some things that history teaches us about chaos and crisis?
Jeremy: People get caught up in the downsides of the depression, but history teaches us that these times consistently provide us with new opportunities. In fact, some of the most iconic companies were founded during chaotic periods of economic downturns, including: Apple, Microsoft, General Electric, Amgen, Hyatt, HP, EA, and Fortune Magazine.
Fortune Magazine, for instance, was founded just four months AFTER the 1929 Wall Street crash. It was a dollar an issue (the price of a wool sweater), but it thrived. DURING the Great Depression, a subscriber base of 500,000 was grown, and the magazine made seven million dollars in modern day profit. The reason Fortune was successful was not because it was a luxury publication, but rather, because consumer needs had evolved. When people lost their jobs and saw the world changed by the decisions made by NYC based corporations, they wanted to know what was happening behind boardroom doors. Fortune was an answer; an answer to a new consumer need.
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