Day 1 of my guest blog series on WIRED Magazine’s Change Accelerators Blog sponsored by BMW.
“There is nothing certain but death and taxes,” so they say. They’re wrong. There is plenty more that is certain.
Change is accelerating today. It will be accelerating more tomorrow. Because of the dizzying rate of technological, commercial, and social change, it can easily feel like we are living in times of greater uncertainty than ever before.
Uncertainty keeps us from moving forward, launching new products, hiring more people, starting new businesses. Certainty, on the other hand, allows us to move forward with confidence. And we actually know a great deal more about the future than we think we know. We just need to understand where and how to look.
In speeches I often say, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict the future—and be right?” and the audience always laughs. It never fails. Maybe that’s because they know on a gut level that whenever someone says he’s going to predict the future, there’s a good chance he’ll be wrong. (How often do you read the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”?)
But I think they also laugh out of a sense of delight because they know that if it were possible, it would be amazing.
Imagine, if you could predict the future—and be right?
You can. All you have to do is leave out the parts you could be wrong about. And the amazing thing is that when you do this, there’s more than enough that you can be right about.
People don’t trust forecasts based on trends because they don’t trust trends. We think trends are like fads: here today, but who knows for how long? “Trends,” we say with a shrug. “Hey, sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. It’s a crapshoot.”