Seeing the present first

I recently heard a quote that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since, “I don’t want to predict the future, I’d just like to understand the present first.” I believe it was an investor who said it.

There are secrets all around us but only a few people are actually attuned to notice them. Here are a few:

  • Apps used by young kids to communicate with their friends
  • Problems in infrastructure you may notice working at a big co.
  • Jobs that new MBA grads from top-tier schools take

If you’re wondering how can these statements be insights it’s likely that you’re not attuned to micro and macro technology/market trends.

Let’s break it down.

Young kids look for new communication apps where they’re less likely to find their parents. They’re also looking to build social capital in a place that’s less saturated.

When working at a big company, you’re exposed to a very specific kind of problem-based on your role. If you’re spending a lot of time doing something manually, you’re probably not alone. Finding a way to automate the task and creating a solution for employees in a similar role at another company can be very lucrative.

New MBA grads from top-tier universities typically enter industries or jobs that are the hottest in that time period. Historically, their decisions have led them to industries on the decline. For example, MBA grads in ’06 were joining a lot of banks offering mortgage-backed securities. Watching the kinds of jobs an MBA grad takes can give you insight on what industries are hot.

What secrets do you know?

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