Book Review: Microtrends, the small forces behind tomorrow’s big changes

It was difficult to read Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes. Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne tell us about 75 trends they see in the United States. Each one is 3-6 pages long and not related to the others and that discontinuity made it hard to read. My main thought while reading it was "this would make a great blog" and it turns out there is a blog and a Wall Street Journal column.

I did find out some interesting things (that should probably be read with a certain amount of scepticism):

  • Terrorists are often middle class, well educated people.
  • Churches led by women are losing members on average compared to churches led by men.
  • Working for a nonprofit is cool. (I knew that. 🙂
  • There are some groups I've never heard of that are supposedly growing in numbers, like people that don't eat or don't use technology or hate the sun.
  • Geeks are social. Savvy tech users are very social. (But I knew this already – if in doubt just attend a conference like GUADEC or OSCON.)
  • Europe will have a much higher percentage of only kids in the future. This could be good as the oldest children in the family tend to do well. All astronauts are either oldest child or oldest boy in the family.

Microtrends
was an interesting read but it was more a series of articles than a book. I was hoping to learn much more about how they identify microtrends but instead the book was just about the trends they'd identified.