A few weeks ago, my girlfriend’s mom mentioned that cupcakes were the new fad. I (foolishly) quickly jumped into the conversation, exclaiming that cupcakes had been a fad for years and were definitely old news. The new fad, I exclaimed, was toast. Toast, she asked? Yes, toast. Why did I think so? Well, a couple trendy, forward-looking hipster friends of mine had said so, and they are almost always ahead of the curve with what’s going to be cool in the future. (They have trendy haircuts and drink coffee out of Mason jars…get the picture?)
So you can imagine my joy when I stumbled upon a story on CNBC.com this morning, the first line of which was, “The latest hipster food fad to emerge is artisanal toast. We kid you not.”
But that got me thinking: what is valuable about calling trends before the world catches on? Lots, actually! That is, if you put action behind it, rather than arrogance, as I did with my girlfriend’s sweet mom.
Trend spotting, trend forecasting, yada yada yada. These are buzzwords in the worlds of entrepreneurship and investing. Just imagine being one of the first shops to start selling cupcakes after Hollywood made cupcake parlors en vogue. Or to make those plastic covers for Beanie Baby tags when they exploded in the 90’s. Catching the first wave can be incredibly lucrative. Sometimes, you don’t even have to start a business to profit from a trend. You can also invest in companies associated with the trend. Like investing in the company that makes Mason jars back when people started using those for…everything.
As a Biz Kid, you have a unique opportunity. You see, in the same way I heard about this toast fad before the business world caught on because of the people around me, you are surrounded by a unique group of people (other kids!) who are determining what’s hot and what’s not with products, food, experiences, and services everyday!
And when you hear of growing fads, think about what you can do to profit form them! Perhaps you should start a business that sells the product, or invest in companies that make it. Either way, putting action to your awareness of the latest trends can be very lucrative. Just make sure you also listen when it’s time to cash out.
After all, you don’t want to be the guy trying to sell cupcakes when everyone just wants toast.
Want to know more? Learn how trends affect a business by watching our episode on Economic Cycles!