Jeremy Gutsche Jeremy www.trendhunter.com/Jeremy Toronto //cdn.trendhunterstatic.com/avatars/m/0/avatar_1.jpg Chief Trend Hunter and Innovation Keynote Speaker TrendHunter.com
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Jeremy Gutsche

RockStar

I'm an innovation keynote speaker, author and the Chief Trend Hunter at TrendHunter.com. My keynote speaker bio (at JeremyGutsche.com) has to be a sales pitch to book my keynotes, so this bio is more about me and why I am on this relentless mission to help people Find Better Ideas Faster!

I founded Trend Hunter because deep down, all I ever wanted to be was an entrepreneur, but I could never find my own business idea. Ironically, I built a corporate innovation career helping other people find their business ideas without finding my own. In my final year, I created an innovation pipeline that led my team at a bank to grow a $1 billion portfolio. That sounds great, but it was a striking reminder to me that I still hadn't figured out what I wanted to do.

So, in the wee hours of the morning, I started building Trend Hunter like a giant innovation focus group, an idea pipeline where I hoped people would share business ideas. I also figured somewhere, someone would help inspire me to find my calling. A couple billion pageviews later, and it's clear that serving the Trend Hunter community is my calling!

Today, I see my mission as an important one: to help people find BETTER ideas FASTER, so that they can find their calling and avoid the multi-decade search that kept me hunting ideas for so long. I want to make you BETTER by bringing science to your understanding of chaos and innovation, and I want to make you FASTER by using frameworks and crowdsoucing to help you find the innovation that is right for you.

While starting up Trend Hunter, I also published an innovation book called EXPLOITING CHAOS: How to Spark Innovation During Times of Change. That was 2008/09 and the world certainly went through a lot of chaos. The result was that the book became a bestseller, it landed a couple awards, and I was fortunate enough to be called in by a couple hundred CEOs who wanted me to help them reinvent, faster. It was an incredible experience, both as an innovation keynote speaker, but also as an idea-hungry guy, curious about how innovation works at the world's most powerful companies.

Four hundred keynotes into my journey as a speaker, and I believe I've gained a much better sense of what makes some innovators win while others fail. The experience also helped me prepare for my second book, Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas. I was thrilled to see that book hit the New York Times Bestseller with about 4,000,000 views to the keynote video. That was an incredible feeling for me because this book was much more of a personal journey, including the tales of Trend Hunter, and my unique entrepreneurial upbringing.

On a personal note, I had interviewed my father for the book, because he used to get me to read hundreds of magazines a month, searching for business ideas and brainstorming what projects we would prototype on the weekend. That was obviously a seed for Trend Hunter's inspiration. A week after I interviewed him, he had a heart attack and passed away. So the story, the book, and all the emotion wrapped around that meant that I was particularly proud to see people take interest in the launch. (You can see the innovation keynote videos for both at: JeremyGutsche.com)

When I'm not on the road giving a keynote speech on innovation or chaos, I'm back in Toronto with the kickass team at Trend Hunter.

Basically, I'm an outgoing guy (I suppose any keynote speaker probably says the same) and I love trying to make people laugh. I'm inclined to break rules, adventure and to enjoy a few beers with friends as we chat about ideas, start-ups and my favorite topic: innovation!

I would describe myself as enthusiastic, creative and social. My friends would describe me as hyperactive, short attention spanned and easily distracted. (Mom, this is my attempt at humor.)

A cowboy entrepreneur at heart, I grew up riding dirt bikes and ski racing just outside Calgary, Alberta, home of the Wild West and the legendary Calgary Stampede. I'm the son of a psychotherapist and my entrepreneur father, which explains how I ended up in love with start-ups and creativity. I'm also the younger brother of an art historian. Perhaps I ended up somewhere in the middle of the three. After all, I really like new ventures, meeting new people and artistic creativity.

I've always been obsessed with graphic design, problem solving, and the discovery of innovative new things, which made Trend Hunter my perfect hobby. In the early days, I'd design and code Trend Hunter until 4am while working during the day as a business director at a bank. Today, I design and code Trend Hunter until 4am because I like it.

I'm truly content that pouring my heart into Trend Hunter and my innovation keynotes has resulted in a role where my job and hobby are the same thing.

I'm most in the zone when performing speeches on stage. I fear that many innovation speakers are authors, skilled academics or managers who lack the entertainment fuel needed to spark a revolution. So this is what I aspire to deliver. I like to think of my performances as a mixture of stand-up comedy, audience interaction, big ideas and talking in a really loud voice. I love multimedia keynote presentations and I draw my own animated stick men. Always.

I love meeting Trend Hunters, so if we ever rendezvous, feel free to intrigue me with your random ideas, trends, ideas, creativity and innovation.

Cheers,
Jeremy

What is unique that's not in your bio?
I love interacting with people, brainstorming new ideas and thrill seeking. On the latter, I'm up for anything. So far I've been swimming with sharks, racing baja rally cars, jumping from planes, skiing off cliffs, bobsledding and motorcycle racing. Also, I have a short attention span. Also, I forget the question. What?
What's your favorite accomplishment?
I love everything about TrendHunter.com, and I'm most proud of the way that we have helped to connect a community of inspirational people.
How do you define cool?
Cool hunting isn't the search for what's popular. Cool hunting is the search for what's NOT popular yet. Once something becomes mainstream, its novelty and appeal is lost. Cool is unique, cutting edge and viral. Because cool is viral, marketers and product designers seek to attain it.
What is your secret to uncovering trends?
I like to hunt for Clusters of Inspiration. This might have you wondering why the Trend Hunter guy use a word like 'cluster' instead of 'trend'? Quite simply, the word 'trends' is to broad. It can refer to next fall's fashionable color, or macro-trends like the green movement, female buyers, consolidation, outsourcing, Web 2.0 and aging boomers. These trends are somewhat useful, but too generic to enable breakthrough thinking. Clustering is the art of identifying insights that are meaningful to your customer. To create clusters, you'll need to collect your observations from trend hunting and filter through the noise.
What do you enjoy most about Trend Hunter?
I've always been insatiably curious and obsessed with innovation. I am an entrepreneur at heart, although I spent years hunting for a business idea. In fact, I created Trend Hunter as a place where people could share business ideas, and I was hoping along the way that I would find my own idea... Fortunately, Trend Hunter grew into the business idea itself. For this, I have been truly lucky because I feel like I am working on a hobby. To me Trend Hunter is an obsession and a passion, but most certainly not a job. I am passionate about our Trend Hunter community and I get really excited every time someone sends an email that we helped them to get inspired.
What is your favorite trend?
If this was a serious interview, I'd note that my favorite PRO Trend is NEXT BESTING, which we define as way the recession changed consumer purchasing, enabling us to *try* the next-best-option, instead of simply purchasing the market leading brand. I like this trend because it creates entrepreneurial opportunity. I'm always a fan of the little guy, and I love entrepreneurial creativity. - Get a Personalized Phone Call from Samuel Jackson - The Half Suit - Business on top, Party Below - The Innespace Dolphin Personal Watercraft - The Rise of Shock Labels - Cocaine Energy Drink
What are your tips for writing a juicy post?
Find something ridiculously new that is edgy, bizarre and controversial.
How do you reset to be creative?
I let myself get lost in the trends at Trend Hunter. Although we advertise that the site gets ~40 million views, 1-2 million are actually from me. Basically, I like to expose myself to all the wonderfully brilliant innovations and along the way, I'll get inspired. When I get an idea, I become very obsessive about it. This leads me to a zone where I will no doubt work through the night to finish what I started. I don't look at 'all-nighters' as a bad thing. For me, I have realized that the wee hours of the morning make me remarkably more productive, so I embrace that.
What inspires or excites you?
Creativity. Ambition. Randomness. The NEXT BIG THING.
Predict something awesome for 2020?
My Dad told me that mobile phones would be big... So I used to stick with that as my answer... But then CNN invited me to come talk about Trends in 2020, and I realized I'd have to come up with something pretty quick. That led me to digital newspapers, robots that cut your hair and emotion sensitive technology... If you want to watch, you can catch it all HERE.
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