There are 2 people I look to for understanding trends:
And Kevin Kelly
Why these two?
James is an incredible investor who has profited from his trend forsight for decades.
Not only did he correctly predict that Facebook would become a billion dollar company, he even predicted the timeline of its success! (source)
James also had the foresight to get into the cryptocurrency, ether, and turned a small investment into $1 million in less than a year.
And he’s constantly been on the cutting edge of business, finding novel ways to make money outside of a “job” for years.
Kevin Kelly was the co-founder of Wired magazine.
He’s been reporting on technology and the future for over 20 years writing several books on the topic.
David Pogue of Yahoo Tech has this to say about Kevin Kelly:
Anyone can claim to be a prophet… What makes Kevin Kelly different is that he’s right.
I read Kelly’s most recent book The Inevitable* which outlines the 12 technological forces that will shape our future.
I highly recommend you check it out.
The concepts below are from Kevin Kelly’s Inevitable and James Altucher’s blog that I think are critical to understanding the near future.
What is deflation anyway?
Deflation is the economic term for a reduction in prices.
The price of electronics is a great example of deflation in action.
We can purchase computers today that would have been 10-100X more expensive 10 years ago (if they were even available 10 years ago).
So what’s the effect of deflation and why should we care?
In a deflationary world, products gradually lose their value.
This spells trouble for any entrepreneur who sells products –
UNLESS, you sell information.
Relevant information or ideas never lose their value.
Imagine you come up with ideas to help people make money in a deflationary environment!
This is exactly the sort of information people need and would pay hand over fist to get.
So if you can learn how to market and sell relevant information products, you can protect yourself from deflation.
(This is actually part of what I’m trying to do on this blog – learn how to market and sell information).
Computing advancement dominated the 20th century.
But according to James Altucher, chemistry is the bottleneck in many areas of advancement.
We can’t do DNA computing because we need to know more about biochemistry before we can proceed.
And Elon Musk can make the most efficient, AI factory automation ever to make his batteries.
But the chemistry of the battery is the real bottleneck to revolutionizing this process.
As James points out, DuPont Chemical has had 50% year over year growth and Apple has had 12%.
But no one cares about DuPont Chemical because chemistry isn’t sexy as technology.
So what can YOU do about this trend?
You can invest in chemistry companies.
3. Employee free society
James is a big proponent of finding ways to make your own money outside of a corporate paycheck.
Because 97% of “job” growth in the last decade has been in the freelance/gig economy.
It’s the way of the future and the future is coming quickly!
And if you haven’t noticed, like James, I too am a huge proponent of finding ways to prepare for this future and to make money outside of a job!
I created this blog to document my journey of learning how to create a full-time income OUTSIDE of a corporate job.
But why does James believe that we will move towards an employee free society in the future?
He points out that up until about 200 years ago, most people weren’t employees.
(they were artisans, farmers (living off the land), entrepreneurs, part of family businesses, etc)
So don’t let the recency of the employee phenomenon fool you into thinking this is just “how it works.”
The rise in freelancing and the decline of employees is why companies like Uber, Lyft, Task Rabbit, and more are flourishing.
And at the same time, they are displacing companies that relied on 20th century business model of employees and corporatism.
So how can you prepare yourself for an employee-free world?
You can begin learning how to make your own money outside of a corporate job.
There are countless ways to do this online.
But my favorite way to become financially independent is to start an online brand.
Almost every brand has a website.
That’s why I recommend starting a WordPress blog with Bluehost webhosting.
It’s inexpensive – you can get started for just $3.95 a month if you use my link* (that’s 50% off the standard price)
It’s simple – you can install WordPress with a single click. (And once you have it installed, you don’t need to know a bit of coding to start your blog.)
And there’s no better time than today to start building a brand.
In 2017, Google rebranded itself as an AI-first company.
And it’s not just Google.
Every major tech company is working on artificial intelligence.
In other words, AI is the next big thing.
Kevin Kelly calls the phenomenon of adding artificial intelligence to everything, “cognifying.”
And this phenomenon is only going to become more common.
Software’s ability to learn from us and better cater to our tastes and interests will revolutionize the future.
And it’s only just beginning.
How can you profit from AI?
You can become proficient in it if that’s your inclination.
Imagine what sort of job prospects you would have if you completed both of these courses?
Or if you’re like me and you’re more marketer than coder, you could start an AI email newsletter.
I find myself reading about AI and I know there are thousands like me who would love to read a newsletter about it.
I remember Facebook before the newsfeed.
You’d log in and then be taken to your profile.
Sure you had personal notifications showing if someone had poked you, written on your wall, tagged you, etc.
But otherwise, you’d just have to search for other people, groups, and more.
But now the newsfeed is around, it’s hard to remember this pre-newsfeed world.
Almost every social network has a similar newsfeed – an endless scroll of content.
Kevin Kelly calls this endless scroll – flowing.
There’s demand for an endless flow of content.
And your behavior with this content is constantly monitored with the help of AI to fine-tune what content is served when.
If you pause, like, comment, or in any other way interact with a piece of content, Facebook will show you more like it.
You can make TONS of money from this phenomenon by figuring out what content performs well on each social flow.
And if you can get to the top of that news feed and gain people’s attention, you can sell whatever you want and be successful on the web.
In case you haven’t noticed, screens are everywhere!
There are the usual suspects: phones, tablets, laptops/computers, and TVs.
But there are also TVs in our planes and cars, screens in our car dashboards, microwaves, ovens, toasters, coffee makers, washing machines, bathrooms, elevators, and more!
And guess what?
Content needs to be made for every single one of these devices.
Sure, much of it can be repurposed.
But some of it can’t.
My washing machine plays a little song when it’s complete.
Someone had to write that song and license it to use on those machines.
And as the internet of things explodes and screens end up on every device, there will be an unbelievable demand for content on those screens.
According to a 2016 study, Americans spend almost 11 hours in front of screens.
Whoever makes the content that’s viewed on those screens will make money.
Why shouldn’t it be you?
Most people know all about the American dream:
You grow up in a middle class home, go to college, get a corporate job, get married, buy a home, have children, and help them do the same.
For America, this has become the de-facto pursuit of happiness.
But since the new millenium, there’s been a closer examination of what truly brings happiness.
The housing crisis and skyrocketing tuition prices are just a couple of things that have called into question “the American dream.”
At the same time, the search for happiness outside of the American dream has lead many to embrace a more paleolithic lifestyle.
If you haven’t heard of it, the paleolithic or paleo diet is one that attempts to imitate the diet of our caveman ancestors – the diet for which we are evolutionarily adapted.
But it’s much more than a diet.
It’s a lifestyle approach in search for happiness by returning to our evolutionary roots.
So not only can we find a better diet by imitating the whole food approach of our hunter/gatherer ancestors, we can also find clues to a happier life in general.
People in paleolithic or caveman times were nomads with few material possessions.
They spent an abundance of time in nature hunting and gathering food.
And they probably only “worked” about 12 hours a week. (source)
Obviously, this pattern of life diverges significantly from the American dream which is based on agrarian and industrial, as opposed to paleolithic roots.
So what does all this have to do with the future?
I believe that more and more people will look to the paleolithic lifestyle as a guide to happiness instead of the American dream.
As a result, fewer people will want the responsibility of owning possessions.
Instead, they will pay to rent or “access” them as Kevin Kelly calls it.
Most people don’t own music anymore, they stream it.
Fewer and fewer people own homes, they rent instead.
So how do you make money from this phenomenon of people wanting to rent instead of buy?
I think owning a rental property is a great way to take advantage of it.
Rental property allows you to take advantage of the massive demand for rent while earning passive income.
I aspire to own a rental property some day and you might want to look into it too.
Sharing content drives the internet.
It’s what makes content “go viral.”
Sharing is the online version of word-of-mouth advertising and it’s extremely powerful.
And it will only become more important in the online future as more and more content is produced.
Because people won’t know what content to consume when there’s so much available.
So they rely on shares from their friends and family to dictate what they consume.
You can profit from this by reverse-engineering what content gets shared.
Buzz Sumo did some great research on what gets shared and this is what they found:
But most importantly, you must produce a lot of content to maximize the odds of your content getting shared.
So don’t expect to follow the above “rules” of viral content and immediately get tons of shares and traffic to your site.
Instead follow the rules of viral content AND produce content over and over again over a long period of time while constantly refining your message’s quality.
YouTubers upload 300 hours of video to YouTube every minute. (source)
Between 2 and 3 million blog posts are published every day. (source)
In other words:
It’s simply impossible to keep up with all the content that’s produced every day.
And this is why filters are so critical in the world of the internet.
Usually these filters come in the form of algorithms like the Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds that determine what we seen when.
But they can also come in the form of content curators like The Hustle or Tim Ferriss.
These people send out email newsletters with content they’ve found interesting.
And many rely solely on these content curators to find interesting stuff on the web.
If you can become a content curator, you can make an incredible living online.
To become a successful curator, you need to become an influencer.
Check out my guide here on how to do that.
To succeed in the world today, you need to prepare yourself for the world tomorrow.
I hope this blog post helps you do just that.
What trends do you think will dominate the future?
Let me know in the comments.