Canadian Jeremy Gutsche has mastered the art of Trend hunting – looking for cool that hasn’t hit the mainstream. In fact, his entrepreneurial endeavors have revolved around it. He is the founder of TrendHunter.com, an online community he created in 2006 that features 80,000 articles and attracts 23,000,000 views monthly. New micro trends are discovered by thousands of in-the-know seekers of cool around the world and Trend Hunter editors are responsible for publishing the most popular trends throughout the day. Information from the site is also used to create Trend Reports, a tool for entrepreneurs that compiles trends and identifies emerging patterns. In 2009, he released Exploiting Chaos, a book for business professionals highlighting innovation and marketing.
What’s the business idea of TrendHunter.com? What first interested you about the idea of trends?
Like many of us, I was an entrepreneur at heart, but I didn’t know what idea I wanted to pursue. I chose careers that I thought would lead me to my business idea. But after years of searching, I was still hunting for inspiration. It was then that I started TrendHunter.com – a place for insatiably curious people to share ideas and get inspired. Since then, Trend Hunter has grown to become the world’s largest place for cutting-edge trends and ideas.
What kinds of trends are you partial to?
The concept behind Trend Hunter is to inspire your next idea. So from that standpoint, we’d rather identify smaller micro-trends and ideas, knowing that many of them will not become the trends that change the world. After all, if we identified macro-trends – like outsourcing or the rise of China – we would not be inspiring your innovation, because you already know about those trends. So, I am much more interested in looking for what is cutting edge and inspiring.
It’s easy to worry about being successful in the biz world after a major recession but in your book, Exploiting Chaos, you explain that the greatest innovation comes in times of change. Can you explain this and put us at ease?
Disney, CNN, MTV, Hyatt, Microsoft, Apple, Fortune, GE and Hewlett-Packard are just a few examples of companies created during periods of economic recession.
Dramatic change and simple evolution gives birth to a new set of market needs. Identify those needs, and enjoy remarkable success. The reason is that in times of change, people still buy things, but they become more choosy about what it is that they are buying. They try new products, new services and even new b2b partners.