Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Conversation starters

As the population (here and many places abroad) gets richer and older with many more options, many of them via better technologies, stuff will happen. Seventy-five of the resulting trends are written about by Mark J. Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne in microtrends: the small forces beghind tomorrow's big challenges. The authors rely on survey data and some census data; they are not always careful about how they interpret what they find (their conclusion that, "The bottom 90% of Americans have been taking pay cuts." is ridiculous (p. 132))

But the book is an easy read. Most of the 75 trends that the authors cover are not really that surprising (more inter-racial marriages -- leading the pack are white males and Asian females -- more people using gyms, getting tattoos, enduring plastic surgery, etc).

But I had not known about "Cougars", women openly seeking younger men, with their own dating website. And there are some other surprises. Take this book to the next boring party or retreat and you will have some ready conversation starters.