Book Review: Microtrends

© amazon book cover image

Penn, Mark J. Microtrends : the small forces behind tomorrow

Political adviser Mark Penn identifies more than 70 trends in work, politics, lifestyles and relationships that are changing the way we live. Some of the trends are obvious. Older Americans are continuing to work after retirement age. Middle income people are buying second homes and having elective surgery in greater numbers. Americans are pampering their pets.

The fun begins when Penn presents trends that are contrary to popular belief. Penn refutes the conventional wisdom that Americans’ attention spans are shrinking in the internet age. He presents evidence that a sizable number of Americans want substance and depth in communication. (Note: this chapter is 4 pages long, as is typical for this book.)

Surprising trend in career aspirations — Sniper. When young men were asked in a poll, “What do you think you will most likely be doing in ten years,” a small but significant number gave the open-ended answer “Sniper.”

Trends in spending: Women and girls drive the majority of consumer electronics purchases in America. Women outspend men on technology 3 to 2.

In politics, the wealthiest and best educated US citizens have become less interested in America’s economic and strategic challenges than they are in candidates’ personalities. By contrast, America’s regular voters are more issue-focused than ever before.

Over the past 40 years, France’s wine consumption has fallen faster than any other country (except the United Arab Emirates). Per capita consumption fell from 20 liters in 1962 to 8 in 2001.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.


Leave a Reply