On Trends

The good, bad, and ugly.

An undeniable trend: obsession with trends

Let's look at the good, the bad, and the ugly (in reverse order, just to keep you on your toes).

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have noticed this as well. We all love trends. We want to know about them, and we *especially want to know about them before the next person does.

Feeling left out? Go subscribe to trends.vc or sink your teeth into trends.co by The Hustle to get your fill. That's just two examples, and they will keep you busy and for good reason.

Congrats, now you're trending. Punny, I know.

I often wonder why we care so much. Is it future-oriented opportunity that gets us excited (although we may not even have time to execute), or is it simply the pride of being able to chime into a conversation only to drop a self-glorifying  remark that demonstrates you knew first?

I'm genuinely not sure what the most common driver is, and I'm also not sure that it matters. This obsession, especially when tied to the latter motivation, is my marker of "the ugly". Trend identification as part of your very identity will end in discontentment. Been there, got the tshirt.

Further, "the bad" seems to be made up of two major components. We waste time, and we are constantly met with our own inadequacy. Maybe that's too bleak, but it's my take and I'm sticking to it.

If you are not actively working on anything and consume trend data to try and decide on your next project, great. If you are already busy and building, move along. Why get distracted by the rise in DTC residential plant life? A significant amount of time is wasted trying to "keep up" with what's happening.

The other component to the bad is a common occurrence for us all. You have endured the "Crap, I had that idea 3 years ago" moment. Does it serve us well to face this as much as possible? Endless trend updates just keep showing us all of the things we do not achieve that others do.

But, there is "the good". In fact, there's plenty of it.

Trends *can sharpen us, steer us away from certain doom, increase our chances for success, and inspire us to keep learning.

I do believe we have an unhealthy obsession with trends and glorify the accurate identification of them far too much. Now, would I actually share some trends I'm watching at the end of this trend-negative post? Ha, you bet your SaaS I will.

1) SMBs, A Love Affair

A local guy with a good salary, a seasoned private equity investor, and a software entrepreneur walk into a bar. They all start talking about how great local service businesses are, and they can’t stop. They just keep salivating.

2) Small, Indy SaaS

There’s a movement of micro SaaS companies that 1) Aim to be profitable quickly and 2) Have no desire to ever raise capital via equity. This is refreshing to me. Platforms like MicroAcquire and FounderPath are making a way for these indy software companies, and I’m here for it.

3) Build By Yourself

If you have not heard about no-code, you have not been on Twitter. The “business guy” that needs a technical co-founder is a thing of the past. Tools like Zapier, Webflow, Adalo, Airtable, and Parabola are making ideas guys into builders. I’ve been watching this space closely for a year and it’s been fascinating - in many ways, this movement is just getting started.