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Are you currently a creative thinker? Try using your creative abilities to study current trends and project those trends in to the future. Future trends are wonderful "seeds" for identifying potentially valuable inventions.


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Current Trends

You can develop valuable inventions by looking at current trends and projecting those trends into the future. Specifically, current trends are studied to predict where the trends will go in the future. When projecting a trend in to the future, consider all forces that may influence the popularity - economic influences, alterations in technology, changes in business methods (businesses expanding or moving their activities online), and so forth. The way those forces combine with each other to affect current trends?

While you project current trends in to the future, consider the impact from the trend changes on current services and products. This is a great chance to use your brainstorming, mind mapping, and masterminding strategies to predict where a trend is headed in the future. When looking at future trends, consider:

   What services or products are eliminated through the future trend?
   Does the long run trend create new categories of products or services?
   Do the popularity changes enhance or modify existing products or services?
   What new troubles are developed by the long run trend?


Create Solutions

Develop new inventions by solving problems created by the future trend or by creating new products or services to support the long run trend. What new items or services will become commercially feasible because of this future trend? Can you identify methods to the inefficiencies along with other issues that arise from the future trend? All of these solutions are potential inventions that may have significant commercial value. Use your forward-looking abilities today to create these inventions.

Example

As one example of an example of projecting current trends, we'll reverse some time and put ourselves in the late 1980s. In those days, two popular consumer devices were:

   Personal Computers - Although not as powerful as today, many people were using pcs in the late 1980s. Personal computers contain storage devices, for example hard disk drives, that store various data used by the computer.
   Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs) were popular consumer devices for recording television programs as well as for playing prerecorded content, for example movies. VCRs use magnetic tapes to store video data.

Picture yourself as an inventor in the late 1980s and you start considering future trends. You predict that personal computers continues to increase in computing power, storage capacity, etc. This is reasonable in line with the computer advancements seen in previous years. Additionally you have a broad view of a VCR as a "video storage device". Whenever you realize that the hard disk drives in personal computers can store any kind of data (text data, audio data, video data, and more), you think about the potential of storing video data (television broadcasts) on a hard drive. Thus, hard disk drive turns into a replacement for the tape inside a VCR.

In the late 1980s, the price of a hard disk drive that may store several hours of video data would probably be far too expensive for a consumer device. However, should you saw the popularity that computing power and storage capacity would increase quickly while the cost of the computing systems decreased, the next opportunity was possible. Combining this trend using the development of new video compression algorithms that reduced how big video data to be stored, a whole cool product category was made - Video Recorders (DVRs).

A recent report suggests that Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are actually used in 22% of U.S. households - you may have one yourself. What trends can you study today that may produce popular products or services later on?

Take Action

Check out current services and products, in addition to current trends, and try inventing some future services and products. Although it might take a few years for that technology to evolve in a manner that helps make the invention commercially feasible, those inventions might have significant future value.

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