The next big thing?
What is it? Where is it?
I’ve got no idea. And even if I thought I did I’d probably be wrong. I’d be speculating (at best) and so would, I reckon, most other people. I also think it’s the wrong question. It’s presumptive and a bit naïve too, begging for a simple response to something that deserves a whole lot more than that.
There are better, more considered questions to ask, in my view. Here are some (grittier) ones to consider:
ß Are there significant customer pain points in the market? Where/Why?
ß Are customers frustrated or disappointed by the current market solutions?
ß Are customers being over-charged or under-served? How/where/why?
ß Is the supply chain efficient or are there inherent blockages and inefficiencies that cause
friction with customers?
ß Is there latent demand in the market that would crystallise if a better product or service was
The ‘next big thing’ exists in the answers to these questions. It exists in providing better connections
between buyer and seller. Where there is a focus on interactions, not just transactions. It exists in faster speed of delivery. In reduced costs. In lower risks. It exists primarily where customers are delighted and (nicely) surprised and feel compelled to tell others about their experience.
Ultimately the next big thing exists where it has always existed. By providing improved customer solutions that increase happiness and/or improve the quality of life for the users of a product. That’s it, in a nutshell.
Frictionless, easy, simple and valuable – the next big thing is all of those things. But it’s more too.
It’s about being able to imagine what a sector or industry will look like in 2, 5 or 10 years’ time and then getting there in advance before the masses arrive. Nothing happens overnight and most new trends begin “at the edges” before they gain popular acceptance and adoption. Paying attention at the edges of consumer behaviour (now) is critical to understanding future market trends and needs.
So no, I don’t know specifically what the next big thing is. And I’m not troubled by that lack of knowledge. What I do know is that by asking the right (fundamental) questions, and then diligently working to discover the answers, my chances of finding it, whatever it is, will dramatically improve…
(Image: Liam Brazier)