“TIME FOR A QUICKY TREND INTERPRETATION”? SAY WHAT NOW…?

This afternoon I got an email asking if I had time for a “quicky trend interpretation”. Let me explain thoroughly, a few students of a not further specified university have a not further specified special week and appearantly they have to do some “quick trend interpretation”… say what now?

I can’t even blame the students as their email said that their own teacher suggested that they should ask some of the trend teachers of the other study within the same university, to do a quicky trend interpretation. They have an assignment for a big company and they “have to do” some “trends” in their presentation. Prepacked in an email full of spelling mistakes you can’t seriously think you aren’t going straight in to the trash bin.

Things like that seriously piss me off like old skool Donkey Kong. Not particulary because the email was so unprofessional, I mean they are first year students so they get some slack cut, but because of the attitude regarding trends. There is no such thing as a quicky regarding to trend interpretation. Moreover, what does “do some trends” even mean. Lastly, the words “briefly fast” shot in the wrong way.

This is a typical case of talking through one’s hat, and not taking our profession seriously. It is actually a bit of a laggard move to do, hearing that a specific research field is developing itself, to then belittle it so you can sort of sail on other people’s waves. Moreover, “have to”.. no please don’t. You don’t do trends, you have to be passionated about them and willing to put a lot of time and effort in them.

I myself, and with me a lot of other educated trend professionals, carried out over at least four years of reliable education to interpret trends and we still learn everyday. Because trends are a long term iterative proces which need full attention to even start to give them feasible meaning. So there is no quicky in trends, at least if you want a serious and substantiated understanding of their impact and certainty levels. So “just throwing in some trends” is actually a little bit disrespectfull. It is like telling a michelin star chef that you’d like to cook your own steak but you’ll use his restaurant and recipe to do it.

Secondly, I am in a bit of a conflict with myself lately if it comes to people asking to pick my brains about trends and my expectation about their development in the future. Absolutely amazing on one hand as that is what I love to do, more over I love to share knowledge with others as I believe only together we can do really disprutive things. On the other hand, that is exactly what I do for a living, so picking my brain that is sort of my service, so actually you want a trend consult. Most likely it is forgotten that I don’t wake up over night having all this information and knowledge in my head, it costs time, work and a lot of effort. More important, my landlord unfortunately does not except brain picks for rent.

When push comes to shove we all want to be respected for what we do, and these kind of emails just point out that trends aren’t fully valued yet. A little light though is the fact that people and companies slowly do feel the importance of their presence, by being aware they have to “throw in some trends“. Now we need to make sure that their importance is valued and respected, and that the right professionals are being deployed to unfold tomorrow today.

Originally posted at Linkedin Pulse