Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Books read: Microtrends

Just finished reading Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes, by Mark Penn. It's an entertaining read, full of conversational fodder which you can use to seem really wise in all kinds of situations - from when you're trying to entertain good friends at dinner, to when you're trying to impress those people you just met five minutes ago at a cocktail dinner.

The book is also an easy read. The microtrends themselves are in bite-size chunks, so I can catch one trend in about five minutes while waiting for a friend, three more in the twenty minutes on the bus, and so on. And those small little chunks are themselves very entertaining little slices of life, focusing on the little minutiae which make that micro-group so counter-intuitive and interesting.

So, a good read? Yes.

I'm just not so sure it's useful, nutritional stuff.

Thing is, I don't feel any cleverer or smarter. Most of the little microtrend factoids within just seem to be interesting titbits, but they won't help me to live a better life, nor assist me to come up with a better business (even if Penn seems to pitch it that way sometimes, talking about new business niches all the time).

In the end I would say, it's kind of like the book equivalent of fast food french fries.

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