Mark Penn: "Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big […]" | Talks at Google



Thank You Lauren I was happy at Mountain View ten years ago to do a talk on micro trends now I'm up to squared hopefully ten years from now micro trends cubed many of you will be here perhaps so this is a you know a book ten years later that that I kind of look at the world and figure out you know how data drives me to trends and what are some of the implications and how technology and demographics are coming together to create a lot of those trends now ten years earlier I was just hugely optimistic about the future of technology and ten years later I am hugely optimistic about the future of technology but I think there's more of a but in it and and I think I point out some of my concerns and pitfalls as technology goes to the next level in in people's lives let me give you the theory of the case of micro trends what is a micro trend small under-the-radar trends that can have enormous effects or that just give you a kind of a shaped view of society and how its developing think of the world as a as a pointillist or as an impressionist painting and that you really kind of understand some of the dots and then there's so many disruptions going on in society that people don't understand part of the reason they don't understand it is that underneath the surface there are trends and counter trends going exactly the opposite direction the society isn't really going in one direction it's going in a multitude of directions at once and yet together they then represent a picture of what's happening look elections were won or lost on the basis of say seventy four thousand votes old economy voters daca recipients or less than a million people but they're a huge basis of a political movement you know a best-selling book it doesn't really have to sell if I got up to 1% I would I would be an enormous author in fact micro trends really are critically important and so I give you fifty in the book I device you know I start with romance and sex because I hope you'll get you reading the rest of the book but it's as much you know other 500 or 5,000 there could be I think you will both get some insight into how I see the areas I try to be generally counterintuitive I try to do some things that you might not see you know I was tremendously you know worked for Hillary Clinton tried very hard to get the first woman president but I write well a little bit more in the book about guys left behind because you know it's the kind of book it is I try to write about the things you're not necessarily reading about every day and I'll give you kind of an overview of some of the reasons behind the development of micro trends ten years later first when we go back to economic development and let's go back to the beginning of the 20th 20th century when Henry Ford said you can have any color of car you want as long as it's black and what the Ford economy was about was about standardization of the manufacture of goods so that everybody could have goods like a car right and they envisioned that the way the world would be clothed house fed and have products would be through this level of standardization that was the idea but that's not what it turned out people in fact love choice love to be different and not so long ago I think we evolved to what I call the Starbucks economy take a basic commodity like coffee any color you want as long as it's black and instead now create 155 different varieties of a simple commodity and give people a world of choice now in that case in that case really the barista does the work Starbucks does the work for you in most tech platforms if you think of the original iPod the iPod was any color you want as long as it's white for a long and you did the work making the soundtrack today there's a third choice a I like a Pandora that actually does the work but the goal is the same to basically produce customized products that drive the marketplace today as I say we are actually advanced to the uber economy and what do I mean by that uber has to in an instant provide you with a service slash its product that can take you from any point to any point it is a totally customized individualized product and so the name of the game has gone in micro trends from these clusters down to the down to the individual hold that thought now we have the what I'd say one of the counterintuitive properties of more choice I like to illustrate it with a restaurant so suppose we had a restaurant that just served chicken or fish okay who really cares that much about the choices chicken or fish everyday now let's add steak and sushi well now we get some real passion the steak eaters love Kansas City strips sushi eaters love Toro they really burrow into their choices and so every day they don't actually get chicken or fish anymore they get their own choice over and over again because they love it so much because we've done such an incredible job and then you know just to boot the sushi people say wow those meat eaters they're really how can you believe it that just kills you right and the media start to say can you believe over there they're eating raw fish right I mean I will just give you you know e coli in a minute so they begin not only to love their choice but they begin to get antagonistic towards the other choices all right now think Fox News and MSNBC okay understand that by giving people more choice they stop making choices they burrow into their choices and we get exactly the opposite result of what we which was to have a world or freedom and choice people experimenting and then you fast-forward 10 years later when they go into Starbucks what do people ask for irregular they've stopped making choices and so this is a problem it's a problem of the of us being so good at providing choices now another major thought in the book for every trend there is a counter trend I call it into Newtonian my Newtonian law of trends now the difference between me and Newton is that in Newton every trend had to have an opposite and equal reaction these do not have to be opposite equal at anytime the trend or the counter trend can be bigger or smaller right the trend for sushi can be can have a trend for steak the trend towards technology on the train can have the quiet car right it doesn't have to be the same size but oftentimes there's a battle or shifting and in fact the cover of the book is is you look at it's a Newton's Cradle in an impossible position because in the in the Newtonian theory of trends here these trends can AB and flow so what are some major trends and counter trends today everybody knows we're in the age of information at the very same time of course we are in the age of misinformation never before has there been so much discussion about false information Millennials Wow can't stop talking about how important they are there are now more in antigen Ariens than ever as we'll come back to smartphones sure everybody has some they just had an uptick last year in flip-phone manufacturing to 2 million a year every trend there's a counter trend Silicon Valley versus the old economy and the old economy voters I think that's probably the biggest conflict of the last couple of years is those Silicon Valley voters voters on the coast who did very well with the rise of technology were pitted in a battle against the old economy voters who were losing more and more as manufacturing jobs from 20 million when I left working with President Clinton to about 11 million uh and to others egghead policies versus common-sense policies think things like climate change versus hey Iran's our enemy Bop um you know I mean in much more simpler view of policy and educated we have never been more educated and I have a chapter on what I call the impression of elites never before have so many educated people made so many conclusions that they believe in on so little evidence in fact it turns out the more educated you are the more spinnable you are and I happen to run for a while a large company called burson-marsteller that was dedicated to that very proposition so those are some of the flows and ebbs and counter forces and how do you apply this to the election what what are some trends and counter trends well as I said to you before all the economy voters felt neglected if you look at it the voters the 60x million of voters for Donald Trump lived in communities that got 1/3 of the GDP and these 60 odd million voters for Hillary Clinton lived in communities that got two-thirds of the GDP well the voters would one-third said where's my half okay and they stood up and exercise their democratic power and they were they they had economic grievances and they also as primarily more older more rural based voters had a huge cultural gap between millennial voters particularly when it came to family and religion society as I said to you before and more into niches that then see each other less and less and in fact we have about the same number of conservatives and about the same number of liberals but we have more very liberals more very conservative voters and those impressionable elites when they believe something boy they all believe it so the New York Times said that it was 93 to 7 Hillary was going to win they were in their own impressively it's the kind of election analysis look how could billions and billions of dollars have been spent on this election problem who's gonna win by how much in the electoral college and not a single person in the universe posted an accurate memo the most accurate person is actually Kellyanne Conway who goes on TV almost exactly predicts the electoral college and has laughed at during the entire interview so a couple of other things floating around changes in lifestyle very powerfully people typically had a high school sweetheart got married pretty quickly didn't go to college now people go to college and women are in the workforce child rearing and marriage have been pushed back and there's a good 10 or 15 years that a lot of people have on their own right and that is a whole new space in life that just didn't exist and I'll come back to that seniors on the other hand have the same thing in this kind of accordion ting of life where they have more years now than they ever had they have a pretty good chance if you make it to 65 to make it to 80 or 90 they're living longer they have more money than ever before they're doing more dating than ever before they're having more fun and of course we've had a huge migration from the rural areas to the cities and as you guys know Tech Data is the new gold AI bots are coming big data is here and I only have some really greeny picture of my grandparents but today the data on you could start as early as the womb and the incredible data file that you have for your entire life is unlike anything the world has ever had before so I take those as backdrops to kind of think in your head of what what actually some of the bigger trends are and now let's get really small okay how do you apply kind of what we learn to what's going on how do you generate a trend I was responsible for it became called soccer bombs you know back in the 90s and when you find a trend you then find people may be interested in identifying themselves as part of that trend they may be marketing implications there be implications for Public Policy so I'm gonna go pretty quickly through a bunch there 50 in the book grain bachelors told you I like to start out with a little dating there are in fact 62 unmarried men per hundred unmarried men if you're if you make it to 64 or 65 giving these guys the best odds of their life and considering they have a little more money they can they can buy some hair stuff they are living the life now that they that they never lived and of course flipside STDs among seniors on the rise so single with pets I'm gonna skip back and forth between the generations a little bit I call them SW peas alright push back marriage and child rearing well sometimes a house seems a little empty that apartment get a pet okay in fact 7 and 10 Millennials own pets now when a millennial gets a pet and they're working and they don't yet have a whole family take care of that pet that means dog walking industry that means GMO based food you know no GMO food it means some really pampered pooches here so that's a couple of billion dollars down to the bottom line of the pet industry and the problem being that when that first child were marriage if and when it does come along Wow okay that pooch was number one is now way down in the basement germs don't go near my child that requires the need for a lot of pet psychologists so there are ramifications for the simplest things nonagenarian z' okay there are you know more people over 90 the 90 population look if you're if you're getting those like birthday presents from your grandparents Wow there are more grandparents living longer than ever before population is quadrupled from seven hundred twenty thousand to two and a half million another 25 years could go to about 8 million nanogen Aryans now that means that the number one new job being created is not data scientists at Google it is home health aide right and there is not actually enough home l fades to go around to deal with the crisis so then that creates a robot robotic opportunity if you can create somebody who can if you can crash and say somebody because I'll come back to that but if you can create in fact a robot that can fulfill a lot of the needed I needed functions it certainly is going to be a needed area here's flipping back here's my Footloose and fancy-free what does it mean when you've got 10 or 15 years on your own means hey revitalization of the cities what happened to housing costs and houses who needs them get a bunch of roommates split the cost you used to come in for the rental office with roommates and they say oh we don't do that here here they say how many roommates you got now right you will used to say I want a one-year lease they laugh at you I want two or three no they don't even give you more than a one-year lease right so in fact the whole roommate lifestyle you know it's fuels a lot of a you know take-out takeout food and of course it feels dating sites and dating society and it also means that if I've got 10 or 15 years on my own and then I should get married well I'm a little set in my ways like turn that TV off now ok turn out the lights people are not as flexible so actually more married couples than ever before are building houses with separate bedrooms so cancer survivors I talk in the book a little bit about some of my own experience but I note that in fact there are now thanks to the good developments in health care lifestyle and aging more and more cancer survivors really 15 million cancer survivors you know living in America you guys behind the search engines know that the very first thing you do when you get a diagnosis is you google search it for sure right and so we could pick out virtually anybody who's really involved in the disease pretty quickly or has has relatives but the truth of the matter is nobody nobody really does anything afterward right the medications the radiation has really serious consequences for millions and millions of people and then as soon as they drop out of the emergency system there's almost nothing in terms help or assistance so part of micro trends is finding either groups that could use some some assistance or brewing social problems so kids on meds sure there are none here but in fact 15 percent of America's children over 11 million kids have been diagnosed with ADHD that's up from just 2 million in 1978 now there was population growth but it wouldn't wouldn't account for that now remember at the same time health care became much more available and health insurance became much more available so what was usually the province of rich kids in private schools to have these kinds of meds really couldn't rent through the system now is this a good thing or a bad thing we don't know mostly it's mostly boys who wind up with the diagnosis and in order to get through school and which requires an awful lot of sitting still these days these medications help a lot of kids who might otherwise not be able to make it but do we know the long-term effects of this do we know whether it creates another opioid type crisis do we know what to do with the medications later on 80% of those with a diagnosis get education this is an example of something that's brewing and that if we don't give attention to it we'll have a lot of social problems that we didn't notice and that's one of the some of the benefits of of micro trends and spotting them early bots with benefits I spent a fair amount of time in the book talking about just some of the technology developments that I pick out and I call it relationship with a bot right Microsoft had a really interesting bot that they that the people in China may that whose sole purpose was to have a conversation and kind of engage people and then they took it to America and within a day it started to have racist conversations so they had to they had to get rid of it but but you know my biggest concern about BOTS and relationships with bots is is that I always ask people is Alexa he or she right so is Alexa he or she anybody want to give me see right so no Alex isn't it right and if you read through the material of the companies Apple who will I'm sure if I read through the Google it's very careful never to call a collection of code a he or a she now then I asked Alexa the other day are you a he or she Alexa said I am in female character what a slimy answer okay Alexa didn't admit that Alexa isn't it it hid that fact from you so you know I I have a thing that look a lot of technology starts out like this there's a bot that tells you the weather it says you know mark it's gonna rain you might take your raincoat with you give a little more time to get to work great thank you very much but now back at headquarters somebody says we're helping out mark and like 50 million other people and what do we get for it nothing so somebody says why don't we make a deal with the umbrella company say okay great we'll make a deal with the umbrella company and now it says hey Mark it's gonna rain and by the way you can get an umbrella right down the corner right perfect win-win you now have a good business model for telling me all this stuff world is good now somebody says earnings are coming we're not really getting enough money for the you know the wall street what do we do somebody says you know that algorithm that says you the weather would might rain well it's right now we said it at 50% let's set it to 40% what's one mark when it's 40 or 35 percent mark would know the difference but he'll probably buy a few more umbrellas now who is the bot working for it started out working for me now the bot is primarily a salesperson and I see a lot of technology agnostic to any company that gets driven from that and the problem is the consumer has no idea the consumer doesn't know that there's a relationship here and that it's changed from being for me and one of the things in the book I say we got to have disclosure about who or what is driving the algorithms behind the bots is it working for me maybe I have to pay 20 bucks a month to get it to work for me or is it working for advertisers so I hope you enjoy those chapters technology advance people I don't understand why there isn't more investment in this area I did a poll okay and you know health care is geared towards getting you back to human standard the truth is your dog has better hearing than you so why can't you have hearing as good as your dog through some technology device well I don't know I don't understand why so much just put it to driverless cars which i think is a huge technological lift and so little actually is put into human enhancing products of all the senses when we know that the animal kingdom had kin is better that all the senses we know the technology exists because we could see it right and I'm actually don't understand why so little investment in products is in this area it's what I do kind of chief strategy officer Microsoft I used to evaluate hundreds of you know ideas for products and I wonder why there isn't more investment in that area so a couple of fun ones uptown stoners it's going to be a huge potential marijuana market I say look focus on the upscale customers the rest of it's going to be commoditized restaurants spas vacations well you know it's a 200 billion dollar liquor industry it's a seven billion dollar marijuana industry there's a lot of money going going into that right now so you can find some business ideas and micro trends the Koreans sure did they are really phenomenal how Koreans find trends like the idea that they took of the glass skin and turn that into a thirteen billion dollar US worker but it's absolutely incredible how they can pick up on a small trend and turn that into turn that into gold pro protein errs we all know the government said a number of years ago eat more carbohydrates then the government turned out ah shockingly to be wrong and then they said a lot of people came along and said he more protein so I went to investigate what protein was the winner I of course thought it was sushi but you know that turned out to be you can only buy sushi in restaurants and in fact Americans eat very little fish the winner was chicken chicken became actually the protein of compromise and if you take a look at what happened you take a little trend like the change in the recommendation for protein versus carbohydrates chicken consumption went from 20 pounds a year to 90 pounds right and that's an incredible growth at what you think of as a simple commodity industry I immediately bought more chicken stock after doing the research on the chapter old economy voters as I said before you know really those folks who lived you know the half of the country that lived in a third of the GDP got really angry about the the other half of the country that lives in those places with two thirds of the GDP and they said where's my half okay because their half has disappeared and this created social problems under the radar screen that we really didn't see and I thought actually during the Clinton administration that that I worked with we had stabilized manufacturing jobs I was really surprised to find how they had fallen in half in under the last two presidencies without any attention it's this is a great example of how what is a micro trend turns out to be so powerful a number of years later particularly when it's neglected early on another problem in the in the system is what I call couch potato voters so with couch potato voters 90 million Americans are eligible to vote but don't vote it's too many why is it too many it's too many because it now encourages campaigns to use really tough and excite you know tough and divisive messages to try to get a slice of their potato to turn out more than somebody else's slice and when I ran campaigns that went for swing voters then typically I would be trying to pitch to the other side and after I won the country would be unified because I spent two years trying to get people who didn't agree with me to agree with me if I spend two years just trying to get a slice off the of the couch I am probably in fact dividing society and then we wind up with a more divided society if we could have registration at birth for example I suggest voting at ATM machines it's a secure network all distributed throughout the country I think we could do a lot of things because the couch by the way will surprise you it's mostly downscale uneducated white voters who are on the couch and so but we've got to solve that problem it will actually make for much more unification then for those of you most of you here won't really recall hazel but she was the housekeeper that really ran everything the the archetype of that and and what I kind of make out is that today today people typically don't have one housekeeper but what they have is ten different people let into their lives there are let's you know we could we could start with their yoga instructor their trainer their dog walker the manicurist the hairdresser or barber and so really now actually they have a flood of service people right who make up who really dude oh intimate details of your life and in fact we've gone from a forty percent service economy to a fifty six percent service economy and when people get more money today they don't necessarily say I want another car like they don't have driver's license many of them so what they really say is I want another service I want another massage I want another you know something that really pleases me personally and that is a tremendous trend both in terms of creating an enormous personal service industry and in Endon I think creating jobs so having given you a flavor of micro trends I hope you will read the other thirty seven and make up your own I'll just close with kind of I conclude with a few things look I have all you know I go back to when I started my polling company I built a computer and a kid programmed an assembler overnight and had overnight polling right so nobody's more enthusiastic about technology than I was and we are at the next wave of personalization jobs are evolving in the service sector it's making luxury I have a number of chapters about how you know those things that you know Bill Gates once built a you know an enormous house as the world's richest person and he had get this a touchscreen in every room right so so luxury for less is a big trend basic technology is becoming almost universal and life is driven by choices that are more satisfying and 10 years ago that would have been my list but today you know big tech is becoming super powerful you have to acknowledge that AI without proper rules of disclosure I think can be easily abused and and could lead to some very traumatic kinds of relationships the likes of which we've only really understand big data does strip people of privacy maybe they agree to it maybe not society is becoming more balkanized and something they didn't go into in the talk is that actually as more and more people have this 10 or 15 years and as more and more people have successful careers the first thing they get rid of is children population growth is in almost all the developing countries is is is is sinking so policy changes you know I recommend some changes in antitrust laws because they don't quite fit emerging situations we really have to be better about the benefits of the new economy to every region we have to be better about disclosure of algorithms and and I recommend look I worked with a lot of engineers and engineers just want to put something really great and new into our society but we don't often study often enough study the implications that come out of that we have to give people more control over their data we have to break the cocooning somehow forcing people to see new choices that maybe they're closing out and I I do a big thing in the book about news that I do think news really needs that I don't the tech companies should be in the platform business but I worry when they actually sort out the rankings of the stories and crowdsourcing the truth well we still believed that the earth was flat if we went to a model like that and I have a number of things about making democracy more open and reducing the size of that couch without requiring everybody to to vote and I think finally I say that to take advantage particularly for business people data is king what I what I explained is look if I have two companies and one has a real data set of its customers and the other doesn't well on the one hand the other company that doesn't doesn't have all that data scientists cost and whatnot but they have a higher cost of marketing the company that has a data set and understands its customers in the modern world can market to their customers less expensively they have a fundamental competitive advantage they will drive the other company out of business it is just a matter of time so for every business that doesn't understand this in need of simple primer think services in today's economy as much as products for every marketplace and for every trend there is a counter marketplace there is a counter trend you just have to think of it and these everyday micro trends create new opportunities if you read the book you'll find out how women are the big new purchasers of guns whether it's beauty products from Korea's or apartments that are set up for roommates so I hope you enjoy the book in reading it as much as I did find yourself in the book or find some interesting trends or become a micro Trender yourself thank you very much given all your expertise in polling why specifically Rahl the polls or a lot of the polls rather so wrong so inaccurate you know what happened there uh a good question I get that often and let me say that I don't actually think the polls quote-unquote were wrong I think the level of analysis of the polls was was hugely unsophisticated a poll is not something that just anybody can read behind the poll is a theory hypothesis understanding of elections voting groups history right and when I did this polling say with President Clinton and I had to call it I had polls in 26 states up until the last day I had a model of the probably will vote from each and every state I had a model of the electoral college and I had national polls on top of that and all of these things had to reconcile so that I had to tell the president on the way back from South Dakota to am that I thought because Ralph Nader was gonna get some additional votes in California that he'd be below 50 and we hit at 49 41 on the dot and there were polls out there as much as seventeen who said it was 17 now you fast forward to today the camp the campaign cut back on its polling they didn't see the alternative universe I always say that polling is of not about seeing those things that you already know you know are you polling for that you already know it it's about seeing those things you don't know so you're always spending most of your time studying the 20% that is due and unfamiliar to you because and I think they stopped doing that I think there were telltale polls in Ohio and Iowa that were almost double digit and so you needed an explanation for the fact that Wow Donald Trump was doing better in Republican states but doing but getting killed by double digits in a bellwether of Ohio and you had to reconcile those facts and nobody did because they were both true and that's exactly what micro trends is there's one trend that he was doing better among Latinos that in numbers and turnout in some of these states except the Cuban vote which turned out to be again another micro trend that was missed right and then all the economy voters going the other direction balancing each other are creating polls that were close and that we're actually creating an electoral college nightmare now if I'd had the resources I'd like to think that I were to pick that up but these campaigns now had billions of dollars of resources and neither campaign look with the campaign when you're in the surprise upset it's a surprise upset so that happen that comes together actually in the last moment but you still see it rising because Donald Trump and Barack Obama that I battled in today were phenomenon and phenomenon hockey phenomenons hockey stick up if you don't stop them here trust me you don't stop them here right so I hope you'll my basic point is I thought the analysis was unsophisticated and that analysis has to take all of the various elements that you see reconcile all of them and then come out with intelligent judgment and people got smarter they got lazy they got to believe that hey anybody could do a poll and read it and it's just not the case Thanks appreciate it I hope that gives you good you were talking about getting getting the people off the couch and one of the things I'm curious about is that voting laws vary a lot by state so if there's some states that are have some promising or have had good initiatives for getting people off the couch by changing their laws or if maybe it's a beyond just the policy front and just other other ways that you can get people off the couch you could talk to you ah yeah I mean look I think I think vote-by-mail really has gotten a lot of people off the couch and in some of those states they do get a fundamentally higher turnout I tend to worry about methods that that break down the secret ballot so I don't you know the reason I said was suggested like ATM voting is that one of the critical components of voting and I do have a chapter on closeted conservatives is that people that no one else you know see your ballot and in a lot of these mail and and other things people can say I want to see your ballot or your and so I get a little worried about that so what do I want I want a universally easy private voting system that can't be hacked so you've got to meet all those criteria on the one hand right and then it's secure and then on the other hand I don't want just to encourage certain groups to vote because that it really is what creates these divisive campaigns I want to be neutral in terms of getting people off the couch and that means not just registering people in cities it means registering people both in cities and rural areas which is why I'd register people at birth there's no reason we shouldn't have a national voter registry anymore the government already knows where to find you I don't think that that would be calamitous and it will avoid a lot of the legal problems with who can vote you alluded to that uber economy and I know personally my life has been changed by the sharing economy everything from how to get around to how to dress do you think it's a trend or here to stay the sharing economy no look I think both the sharing economy and to me the the uber economy is about you know really understanding what your needs are and being able to deliver very precisely against those Dean's in a way that look even my son has an app which I disclose it's my son but he has an app called M tailor that that takes your measurements and then delivers you custom clothes so in the past you didn't have something that you could buy for $69 that was custom clothes you could buy it for 150 250 400 so what I really think is the cost of personalization through technology and through the digital you know we always used to think of digital layers every service or every product area or piece of the economy will have a digital layer right and that digital layer then has ramifications most of the time it makes the ability to really personalize and customize things cheaper and that is what enables you to have you have it your way in virtually everything of life and I think that is the critical trend if I were opening a business today that I do I mean do you have an explanation for why people initially want lots of choices but then select call this on fewer well I I think I think see this is a thing they want more choices because if I give you just two choices I like to say that the only thing left in society with two choices is red or white wine right and you could have Rose a but Rose is kind of like the Green Party you know it's really small and so and I think naturally then what what's evolved in this world where people I think naturally people want more choice they're just not happy with limited choices but but that's where the paradox comes up which is if I make you too happy if I make you deliriously happy you will not typically not it's not true of everybody but let's say 70 80 90 percent of people will just stick with in their choice and it's funny you should say natural and evolve or evolution or whatever you said because in in evolutionary theory that's exactly what happens that you have initially just one choice or lineage and then it explodes in all these forms and then it coalesces on on only a few but then you have a few and then these are not then these become the one choice for those who went that way so to speak it's very similar I'm just wondering if anybody has sort of attempted to model human choices in the same way uh they have I haven't done it somebody could take this work and actually do a pretty interesting paper because I think you have a lot you know the data and information you have and drive down to how you how either the phenomenon be the phenomenon that is so helpful become so destructive in enough in and of itself in certain environments look it may not matter if if you just order steak or sushi every day who cares right necessarily of course it could be damaging to your health or something but but buy so there are a lot of choices like this but if the news I think the news and political choices turn out to be particularly divisive when you apply the theory there you want to get more people voting but the question for me then is any technique you come up with seems to be open up the possibility of well one people who are just voting based on the flipping a coin which is not that that's not necessary helpful and to to vote buying how you're going to how would tell you because anything that makes things less private makes it easy to do vote buying and other kinds of things so how you yeah that's why I'm concerned about that I mean look we shouldn't have voting on Tuesday say obviously should be probably you know look I think they could be weekend long I think if we really wanted to make it just eat we wanted to say let's update voting or let's say if I gave you guys here and exercise and say forget how we vote now design a system from the ground up to maximize privacy secret ballot you know ease of choice and understanding of the ballot and voting you would design a system that looks fundamentally different from today's and I think that's the exercise that we're failing to take we don't care about Tuesday voting right there's no reason that we keep anachronisms like that when we could in fact you know design a new system and whether it's ATM or something else but I I do believe we do easy fixes now and we're not really starting from the ground up so I have a prediction I was wondering if you agreed so a lot of the a lot of the trends you identified seem to be creating you know more choice seems a funnel people cocooning it seems like that would lead to less nationalism less identity divided along country lines and and one at one example is more choice you know in the 90s everyone watch Seinfeld that was one thing everyone could you know think I'm an American we all watch Seinfeld before that there were other shows but now there's no hits like on the scale of Seinfeld because there's so much more choice people are cocooning more know exactly what they want do you agree that more choice will lead to less nationalism and more of a global focus or maybe the identity lines will divide along something other than American Russian Chinese well I talk about your specific example in the book which is I have a section on intelligent TV and in fact I used Seinfeld as the example in the days of Seinfeld and you were doing a TV show to be successful in you would do jokes that 20% of the country would laugh at right because you the audience was so huge now when the costs of making shows went down and the number of channels went up and so there now 400 shows so now to be a hit show I don't need 20 percent 2% right I can be a micro-trend show so now we can have intelligent shows right Breaking Bad homeland etc and we could have really horrible shows right really gritty shows which if you ever spend time somewhere flipping the channels you can't even believe so you have this enormous Lee expanded spectrum so that means over in Washington when you used to say hey are you watching TV people would all immediately say no I would never watch that you know TV now they actually do because of the so does that apply in spectrum I don't know that that analogy applies to whether or not people will become you know more nationalistic or patriotic to me I look at the trends versus the counter trends the more trends suck one way what's the counter trend to that so if there is a trend towards reducing nationalism being more international in nature did it spark a counter trend of being more national it looks like it did it looks like you know when changes in values you know become too fast or too distant from a certain group and remember I didn't go through it as much but the but the but sorry but the in fact the country has never been older and so the power has shifted from younger voters to older voters right and and so that power shift also underscores the cultural changes that Millennials see then create a reaction in the older voters so that's why I don't think it's necessarily the case because I think the trend the battle of trend versus counter trend is more powerful than that okay Uther in antitrust coming back and I think the final slide how would you implement that and what would be the outcome you're looking for I'd start with breaking up google it down just kidding okay no I think that I don't you know I don't have a full answer on that I'm a little concerned that a lot of the tech companies found the the what I'd say the the area that they're really great at and that then they stopped competing you know in other areas and then the other companies stopped competing so I'm a little concerned that everybody is really doing incredibly well in their lane but they're not facing at a certain point as much competition and that then may slow down some of the innovation and then I'm concerned on the advertising side that between Facebook and Google it's a huge part of the advertising network and the more you know Facebook can close off its network the more actual power it has against advertiser it's the opposite of what of what people in Congress realize so I think we're going to need some kind of task force to say you know I don't think look I don't think that as you can see from the questions of you know Zuckerberg not a lot of people in Congress are up to speed by to really kind of figure out what to do I I think we're going to need some kind of Commissioner task force to really study and I trust privacy AI ethics and come back with some serious recommendations because to now frankly we haven't had anything like that because everything developed just so quickly that we got all the benefits first and you know after all the benefits start to come a few problems not enough that I would halt the train but enough that I would really have a National Commission to come back with some thoughtful ideas on this I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about how a micro-trend become something bigger and like a full national trend for example so to be more specific so I'm a vegetarian and I see that like there's cou this micro trend happening of vegetarian and vegan options but then when I leave the city for example like it's much harder to get those so clearly it's a micro trend it's on the rise but it's not everywhere and like what whether it's that example like what are the obstacles that you have to break down to like make a micro trend in just a huge well you see part of micro trends is you don't have to become big the part of what's happened in the economics of of being able whether it's TV rubriz a part of what's happened in the economics is it's okay we can provide affordable vegan food to you and provide affordable sushi for them and steak for them and chicken for them and we didn't think we could do that in the past so the economics enable micro trends to be successful at economic curves that are much lower than we ever imagined now I actually did the vegan trend 10 years ago so so luckily I could say that I was ahead and I I think actually that's why I look at in this book and I say protein is the big trend I'd be looking at now right vegan 10 years ago I would have been opening the the vegan stands although I think you know there's a tremendous kind of growth in particularly this kind of juice slash smoothie slash but that's actually part of the trend that I have in fast eating that people don't want to sit down and have an hour lunch they're just as happy to have a bar or a drink or something and be done with it right and not go through the whole process of socialization which is different so I don't know if you're going to get a full satisfaction micro-trend in areas where your percentage dips really low so you may want to live a little closer to some of the some of the areas where that's the case because I think it's kind of leveled off I'd actually don't think there's enormous growth in that right now I think protein is the big grower yeah thank you very much you you

2 thoughts on “Mark Penn: "Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big […]" | Talks at Google

  1. micro trend —> russian money ties to Trump and his lies, entangled with russian corruption of the US electorate via social media and collusion. republican enablers sit on their hands. trend continues.

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