Over 20 years ago, not long after I joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, I met a young woman named DeeDee Gordon. She lived in Los Angeles, in a sleek modernist house up in Beachwood Canyon. She drove an immaculate vintage Pontiac Trans Am. She was young and hilarious and brilliant, in a completely unexpected way, and she had a job I’d never heard of before: companies hired her to figure out what was going to happen next.
Like many people, I assumed that next was an unsolvable mystery—that anyone who claimed to be in the business of telling the future was deluded, or worse. But then I followed DeeDee around for a while. I listened to the way she thought, and I soon began to realize that there was a real discipline and art to next: there were principles that could guide the way we thought about the future. I ended up writing an article about DeeDee Gordon and her work, called “The Coolhunt.” It ran in The New Yorker on March 17, 1997, where—unbeknownst to me—it was read by an enterprising young man named Jeremy Gutsche. Gutsche decided to build an entire infrastructure around next, a network of correspondents around the world feeding their observations and predictions into a massive consumer-insight database. Jeremy is kind enough to say that I inspired him—which is, I’m quite sure, a gross exaggeration. But even gross exaggerations are enormously flattering, so here I am, two decades later, returning the favor by introducing you to one of Jeremy’s most ambitious projects to date.
You have in your hands a book about how to “Create the Future.” Before you start, I’d like to offer a few thoughts about how to think about that question. Let me begin with the question of time. A lot of thinking about the future necessarily revolves around the chronology of future events. We can be pretty certain, for example, that one day science will cure dementia, or the internal combustion engine will be no more, or—in our fanciful moments—that human beings will be able to travel instantaneously through space, like they did in old episodes of Star Trek. The unknown is when those things will happen. 10 years? 30 years? Or has it already been figured out, and we just don’t know about it?
I think that question is best answered in parts. The first part is….
"This book made me a better leader, stretched my imagination and created opportunities for our organization that would not have happened without Jeremy Gutsche. The first edition became our manual for accelerating change and leading through unprecedented disruption. It was a visual, digestible handbook that I gave to all of my business leaders. You couldn’t walk through the Tribune Tower offices without seeing posters from this book. Now, the book is back and better than ever, as a double-sided book with a new side that’s all about disruptive thinking and change. Enjoy!"
"A rousing battle cry for the kind of creative, risky thinking that is most needed in times of change and disorder. Whether you’re a CEO trying to stay ahead of the curve, a daydreaming teenager, or a wannabe trailblazer, this bold guide is the shake-up you need to check your assumptions, get inspired, and turn business as-usual totally upside down."
"A love potion for relentlessly creative souls looking to break boundaries, ignite customer passion, and start a revolution."
"Jeremy is a walking, talking, breathing trend, a living example of what happens when you take your own advice. With his ideas, you might catch an ideavirus."
"This book is the quintessential road map for all those who seek opportunity in times of change. Gutsche vividly explores how remarkable companies have risen from chaos, and he provides a toolkit that managers can use to foster a culture of innovation, create great products and services, and change the world."
What potential is so close within your grasp? What are you actually capable of? For you, that might relate to a new product, service, investment, career path or just a different way of doing something... but the question is: will you reach your next level, and what if you could reach it sooner?
Create the Future and The Innovation Handbook will provide your roadmap to figuring out what you are capable of. We've reached a point in time when everyone wants innovation, but most people don't know how to actually attain it. It's not easy, which is why there are so many failed brands and companies.
In our era of rapid change, disruption, and possibility, there are so many great opportunities within our grasp. However, smart, successful people consistently miss out. Their capabilities are limited by seven traps, and they rely on and repeat past decisions. They miss out on the potential of what could have been. If we could remove these traps, what could we accomplish? How much more successful could we be?
Create the Future - Tactics for Disruptive Thinking, teaches you how to think disruptively, providing specific steps to create real innovation and change. It combines Jeremy's high energy provocative thinking with tactics that have been battle tested through projects with leading innovators like Disney, Starbucks, Amex, IBM, Adidas, Google, and NASA.
Better yet, this is a double-sided book. Create the Future is paired with The Innovation Handbook, a revised edition of Jeremy's award-winning innovation bestseller, Exploiting Chaos. Exploiting Chaos is an INC Best Book for Business Owners, Axiom International Book Award Winner, and was #1 on CEO Read for four months.
After conducting more than 10,000 research projects, 1,000 workshops and dozens of Future Festivals, Trend Hunter has encountered almost every type of innovation problem. We've spent countless hours helping our client work on the world's most difficult problems, leading to the tactics and tools found in both Create the Future and The Innovation Handbook. High level, the double-sided follows this framework for making innovation and change happen.
Uncover the most impactful trends and cutting-edge ideas at Future Festival, Trend Hunter's innovation conference series. Celebrate the launch of Create the Future + The Innovation Handbook at our New York Future Festival on March 12th, or browse our selection of 1 and 2-day events to find a stop on the book launch tour in a city near you. Bring the lessons and inspiration from this innovation book to life!
Jeremy Gutsche is a NY Times Bestselling innovation book author and an award-winning innovation keynote speaker. He is the CEO of Trend Hunter, the world's #1 largest trend and innovation website, attracting more than 3 billion views from 150,000,000 people. Over the last decade, he has helped more than 700 brands, billionaires, CEOs and NASA accelerate innovation.