The Future Ain't What It Used to Be : The 40 Cultural Trends Transforming Your Job, Your Life, Your World by Mary Meehan (Editor), Larry Samuel, Vickie Abrahamson

The authors, who operate a trends consultancy called Iconoculture that counts companies such as General Mills and Wendy's among its clientele, offer an overview of the inside information Iconoculture provides to customers in a series of cheeky but insightful info-bytes that are simultaneously thought-provoking and practical. The trio suggests areas likely to get hot--from simplified lifestyles to retail-as-entertainment to "sensory blending"--along with strategies to turn these trends into business opportunitiess.

Entertainment Weekly: Trend scouting, itself an ever more trendy vocation ... entails tireless research into what a given population is thinking, doing, and--most important--buying.... the best thing about this encyclopedia is its inventory of wacko, only-in-America products that are already out there: Successories' Deep Thoughts-esque line of motivational decor; Bereavement magazine; Victoria's Secret CDs. When the prognosticators describe sightings of Jesus on a Wichita Pizza Hut billboard or propose Gumby as a celebrity spokesmodel of the future, well, you feel like they're on to something.

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