Fast Company

2010 Trend Report

What does it mean to Wave? How is crowdfunding revolutionizing the non-profit sector? What does it mean to make tangible impact? Since our 2009 trend report, Google Wave has turned the tech world on its head, Kiva revolutionized the non-profit business model and Kleiner Perkins is funding eco-innovation with the $500 million Green Fund. While there is a unifying theme (think sustainability, green, digital communities, crowdsourcing) throughout the 2010 trends, there is also a feeling of restlessness. Wall Street culture is causing a class divide with Main Street and we have seen little of the promised change. What does all of this mean? We have analyzed key digital innovators, such as Google and Amazon, alongside the rise of China, the global marketplace and the class divide between Wall Street and Main Street to provide a comprehensive view of what we can expect in 2010: 1. Web of Intelligence — Since the late 1990s, Amazon has leveraged web intelligence to create a personalized user experience. Today, Google is taking this concept into new areas, such as e-mail and search. We explore how will web intelligence will change the way we learn, communicate and navigate the web. 2. Agile Development — In the past, corporations have been slow to innovate — erring on the side of caution instead of action. As company coffers continue to shrink, it’s becoming evermore crucial to innovate on a dime. For instance, blur Group outsources thousands of freelancers to find innovative solutions for their clients. This crowdsourcing method pulls the talents of many to innovate quickly and efficiently. 3. Freedom: New Way of Creativity — With more self-publishing tools on the web than ever, everyone can share their voice. Whether your a graphic designer on Tumblr or a poet on Google Wave or a WordPress auto aficionado, everyday online platforms are making creative expression more accessible to a greater audience. 4. Influencer Society — The web completely revolutionized influence by enabling niche community leaders to become global digital superstars and have real-world impact. The web enabled Perez Hilton to transition from anonymity to internet superstar. As internet usage increases in 2010, we should expect more digital superstars to become book authors to television hosts. 5. Crowdsourcing — blur Group, alongside the non-profit, Kiva are tapping into the resources of many to create an impact. Whether it’s loans for entrepreneurs in developing nations or the creative talents of thousands of freelancers, the crowdsourcing model is changing the way we do business in new and exciting ways. 6. Differentiation Diva — When you think of MP3 player, what brand stands out in your mind? Most likely it’s not the Zune. How did the iPod continue revolutionize the MP3 industry 2010, or how did Lady Gaga become the queen of pop culture? 7. Reputational Currency — What is the role of reputation in a network economy? Social media, in particular, has become an important staple in our professional and personal lives. As such, our digital identities have merged together and no longer is there a professional you or a personal you. Google search, Facebook and more recently Twitter Lists, have made your online reputation one of your most valued digital assets. 8. Reciprocity — Through vast networks of internet users from around the globe, the web has brought us closer together than ever before in history. As such, the value of reciprocity in communities is increasing in value. For instance, the crowd-funding non-profit, Kiva reach an incredible $100 million in loans in just four short years. There is an element of humanity and reciprocity that becomes more prevalent as the web brings us closer together. 9. Giving is In, Greedy is Out — We were spot-on with our Pay Forward trend in 2009, but will it carry over into 2010? While budgets might be tight, our time is not. Accordingly, volunteerism is up. A CNCS report shows that about 8.2 million young people (ages 16-24) volunteered in 2008, compared with about 7.6 million in 2007. Is 2010 the year of giving? 10. Multiculturalism — The US is developing into a growing multicultural nation as immigrants pour into the country. Meanwhile, the US is sharing the international stage with China and other emerging nations. As a result, marketers and stock brokers alike should be diversifying their audience to meet this growing multicultural demand. 11. GreenStream — Going green is not just an added benefit, it is quickly becoming the cost of doing business. We can see spots of green in the luxury market (think Lexus’ new eco-auto), politics (think Obama’s eco-funding) and investing, particularly from legendary venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins. Is 2010 the year when green goes mainstream? 12. Control RX — What does it mean to be healthy? There is a rising trend in sustainable eating — from locally sourced meat to green dining — as we become more cognizant of our consumption and overall well-being. The growing consciousness among consumers is drastically changing their buying decisions. 13. Reality Check — The digital world can often feel intangible. While sharing ideas in online communities or answering questions on LinkedIn has value, the Reality Check trend is about transitioning online discussion into real-world action. For instance, Tweet-Ups gather like-minded people online to meet in person for real-world impact. 14. Recessionista Chic — Whether it’s three-year degrees or pay-as-you-go cellular plans, we are maximizing our time and wallets more than ever. Technology, such as Zipcars, and smart buyers are pushing the limits to get more for less. 15. ReNew — Hulu, the Kindle, Google Wave are many of the brands taking a unique spin on old products and services to create new, compelling offerings. Hulu spun TV, the Kindle spun books, Google Wave spun e-mail. We will explore how re-invention can open entire markets. 16. Seeing Through — We are all human. And as such, we all make mistakes. It is only how we live-up to our mistakes that defines our character. For instance, Ralph Lauren sent a heated letter to blog superstar, Boing Boing, demanding the site take down a criticism of their ad. In the spirit...

To read more about 2010 trends, go to Sparxoo, a digital marketing, branding and business development blog.

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