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Jeremy Gutsche – Cool Geek of the Week

Andrea Divirgilio / January 8, 2009

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The Trend Hunter, a.k.a.Jeremy Gutsche, has given us yet another reason to adore him with his quirky and witty answers and has given us all some quick tips on spotting a trend. So, folks, check out what all this cool geek has to say to all your queries. Enjoy!

1. Paul: What is the next big thing we can expect from Jeremy Gutsche?

Jeremy: On the Trend Hunter side, we’ve got a dozen of new features in development and more ideas for Trend Hunter TV… On my innovation side, I recently signed a book deal with Gotham Books. My book, launching in September, is titled: EXPLOITING CHAOS: How to Spark Innovation and Identify Opportunities During Times of Change. I’m having a lot of fun with the content and the timing for the topic seems ideal.

2. Allen: What all you want people to remember about you?

Jeremy: The goal of Trend Hunter was to provide a place where people could share ideas and get inspired. Similarly, the goal of my keynote speeches is to provide people with a toolkit for leveraging trend spotting and innovation frameworks in their creative process. Accordingly, I hope that people remember me as someone who helped to fuel their creativity!

3. Irene: How important do you think branding is? What do you do to keep the “Jeremy Gutsche brand” going?

Jeremy: Branding creates preference and emotion, so who wouldn’t want a good brand? Personally, I am so in love with Trend Hunter that I pour my heart into it and the Trend Hunter community. Hopefully along the way that builds the Jeremy Gutsche brand… but it’s Trend Hunter that I would tattoo to my neck. ;)

4. Sasha: If we pretend for some time that you’re the current CEO of Microsoft, what would you suggest (for free, of course) to give it an edge over Google?

Jeremy:
One of the most difficult things in business is to cannibalize one’s core business in order to reinvent. It’s time Microsoft started to open up their code and give things away. Let me give you an interesting example from my upcoming EXPLOITING CHAOS book:
“Destroying Value – Opportunities and precious talent are lost when companies avoid destroying value. These opportunities often exist in periods of crisis. In the ’90s, Bill Gates wanted to digitize Britannica, but the encyclopedia company turned him down, worried about cannibalizing their printed book sales. Gates then approached Encarta, and the Microsoft-Encarta partnership was born. The digital reinvention made Encarta the most recognized, best-selling brand of encyclopedias. If Britannica had been willing to destroy value, they would have evolved and could have survived. But it’s not that easy. Later on, even Encarta and Microsoft lost their value after resisting moving to the web and instead, Wikipedia was born. Today, Wikipedia.com is one of the world’s 10 most popular websites and Encarta and Britannica have faded away. Destroying value is nearly impossible for organizations to do, but resistance limits creative options. Openness to value destruction introduces the freedom to consider breakthrough ideas.”

5. Vikas: Trends inspire. What’s beyond trends? Have you ever visualized?

Jeremy: Absolutely. Visualization is very important. A great tool to take visualization even further is the idea of “rapid prototyping.” Tragically, people default to solving problems on paper. However, the human mind has an amazing capacity to absorb stories and visual imagery. Accordingly, a great catalyst to the innovation process involves rapid prototyping. Depending on your product, that might mean creating crayon drawings of a website, fake stores or cardboard products. These prototypes can help you to evaluate an idea more easily than to draw the idea on paper.

6. Eric: Spotting a trend is quite different from getting something out of it. What’s that special trait you would suggest one should have to actually get the right thing? What makes a trend stand out from the crowd?

Jeremy: At Trend Hunter we feature 50 or so micro-trends each day. Individually, these won’t change your life. However, if you group the most relevant trends to your problem, you could create a meaningful cluster. For example, years ago, we saw a diamond encrusted bra by Victoria’s Secret. That doesn’t mean too much on its own. But (still years ago) when you started to see diamond encrusted cakes, diamond encrusted eye lashes and diamond encrusted Bentley Gear Shifters… you start to see a pattern. In short, adding bling and a shocking price tag could help you to generate international attention. Even if you never sold ONE product, you could get a lot of free PR. Now… fast forward to today and we are over-saturated with diamond encrusted stuff, but a couple years ago that would have been a great opportunity.

7. Ryan: Tell us some other trend resources you guys like to read?

Jeremy: Each of the Trend Hunters have their own particular interests which drive them to niche resources. Fashion lovers might hunt for their trends at sites like Trend de la Crème while luxury lovers might look on sites like “the wonderful” BornRich.org.

8. Team: Which trends do you think will be hit the hardest due to the recession? And, what are the trends that will continue to emerge during the recession?

Jeremy:
Around the world people have lost half their money. Accordingly, the credit crunch will make 2009 a year of dramatic change. Here are some of the more optimistic trends that prove how the crunch will improve our lives:

1) RETURN TO THE KITCHEN – Fueled by the credit crunch and food as a fashionable hobby, we’ll see a return to the kitchen, especially for the celebrated meals. Examples of knock on impacts:
New interest in social networks like cookeatshare, epicurious and Kitchen gadgets like this internet video tray for recipes.

2) CREDIT CRUNCH COUTURE – Vintage clothing, DIY jewelry and the rediscovery of individual clothing will drive a fashionable interest in affordable clothing.

- Vivienne Westwood showcased a collection of clothing made from towels, curtains and scrap material:

Interest in DIY is even sparking top designers like Hermes to capture the DIY look:

3) DIY & THE RISE OF THE COTTAGE INDUSTRY – Internet communities like Etsy and Craftster were already sparking interest in DIY projects, fashion and crafts. A troubled job market and the need for extra cash will spark many hobbyists to transition their love for craft into cottage industries.

4) RECYCLING GARBAGE INTO ART… Related to the above, we will find new uses for garbage! :)

Plush toy Chairs

Bags made from recycled airplane seats

Dresses made of phonebooks

Animals made of recycled electronics
“Suit Cases” made out of old suits

5) REAL BEAUTY – We’ll move away from the traditional expectations of beauty as marketers return to what seems real. Here are some examples from recent catwalks:

Senior Citizens on the catwalk


Gypsies on the runway

9. Josh: What are the gadget announcements you are looking forward to from CES 2009? Do you think CES 2009 will lie low this year?

Jeremy: The Dell Adamo and other MacBook Air killers… ;)

10. Cory O’Brien: How has the internet changed the way that trends emerge and evolve? In the future, do you think that trends will be more widespread, or will a greater number of niche trends emerge due to technology changes?

Jeremy: The internet has created the world’s first viral platform for ideas. Breakthrough ideas now travel faster than ever before.

11. Team: Your views on BornRich and Instablogs network?

Jeremy: BornRich has always been one of my favorite destinations for uber luxury, opulence and excess!

RAPIDFIRE ROUND:-

1. Things you hate to spend money on in descending order
a. Gadgets b.Video games c.(Ex)Girlfriend d. Taxes?

Jeremy: (Umm. I love spending money on the above, so let me try something different)
- Bottled Water (a waste of plastic, but sometimes you are thirsty)
- Gas (get a hybrid!)
- Anything with lots of excessive packaging

2. Best memory of your childhood
a.) Going to Disney World
b.) Christmas Mornings
c.) Learning to Ride a Bike
d.) Camping
e.) Others

Jeremy: My years as a ski racer and riding dirt bikes with my dad.

3. Most Weird Celebrity Child Names
a.) Pilot Inspektor – Jason Lee’s son
b.) Kingston Rossdale – Gwen Stefani’s Kid
c.) Sage Moonblood – Son of Sylvester Stallone
d.) Moxie Crimefighter – Child of Penn Jillette
e.) Destry son of Steven Spielberg
f.) Other

Jeremy: George, George and George – the three similarly named children of George Foreman.

4. Top Current Fashion Trends That Sucks
a.) Skinny-Leg Jeans b.) tattoos c.) Big sunglasses d.) Capri pants e.) Other?


Jeremy:
Girl jeans on boys.

Finally, we wish Jeremy and his team a very Happy New Year and wish him All the Best for his future endeavors. Thanks, Jeremy!

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