⏩ Future Normal: Fast Forward #12

Sky-high status, again; Liquid Super Teams & the Future of Work; Etsy buys Depop; 50 over 50 and more...

If you want to understand the currents shaping The Future Normal, then you can’t go wrong if you unpick where aspiration and status are headed.

This week, a number of glimpses of this: from the newest billionaire status symbol, to the ultimate in workplace status, to the money being made thanks to Gen Z’s entrepreneurial hustle.

As always, I hope this inspires some new thinking about The Future Normal you can create. If it does, then why not share this edition? The future is ours to build together.


Jeff Bezos is flying into space with Blue Origin

🔮 #FutureNormal // And now for his next act…15 days after stepping down as Amazon CEO. First, he conditioned us to expect the world’s entire product range to be available to us, via one-click checkout and free shipping. Now Bezos invites us to imagine a world where space travel is just another experience in The Future Normal. You wouldn’t bet against him…

💡 So what? // The schmalzy Instagram video of Bezos inviting his brother to join him on his space flight is meant to humanize the multibillionaire –– look, Jeff has feelings too! It should also remind us of a powerful truth: rich people’s hobbies today will become normal behaviors tomorrow, because they speak to universal human desires.

United Airlines will buy 15 ultrafast airplanes from start-up Boom Supersonic

🔮 #FutureNormal // Back closer to Earth. While the ultra-wealthy fly to the edge of space, the merely affluent will be able to criss-cross the globe faster than ever (well, since Concorde in the 1970s…everything old is new again). The welcome difference here? Boom claims its aircraft will run on sustainable aviation fuel and be net-zero.

💡 So what? // We’re entering a hybrid world. Millions of workers will WFH, bouncing from Zoom call to Zoom call. Millions more will physically zoom around the world. Don’t sweat the macro picture. Every trend will be true, all at once. Instead, focus on the micro: pick the right medium at the right time.

The Cooperation Economy & Liquid Super Teams
🔮 #FutureNormal // Social media has empowered individuals, creating personal brands and the Influencer Economy. What comes next? after the Creator Economy? The always-brilliant Packy McCormick explains how new cooperation mechanisms (like Distributed Autonomous Organisations) are creating Liquid Super Teams. Think the Hollywood model of temporary, project-based collaborations applied to the rest of the economy, and with ‘equity’ and revenue shared based on individuals’ contributions.

💡 So what? // This is an epic cultural shift for organizations built to command and control. For now, experiment. Could you attract new—and better—talent to a project if you focused on building a dream Liquid Super Team? Which individuals within your ranks would join? How would they be rewarded?

Internal Nestlé document says majority of its food portfolio is unhealthy

🔮 #FutureNormal // Nestlé is fighting against three big A’s here: awareness, affluence and aspiration. People don’t want to eat cheap food that’s packed with fat and sugar. As global markets reach saturation and the population starts to decline, killing your customers is no longer a sustainable business strategy.

💡 So what? // Nestlé is aware of the issue. But can they turn the oil tanker around fast enough? As the saying goes, “the battle between every startup and incumbent comes down to whether the startup gets distribution before the incumbent gets innovation.”

Etsy is buying Gen Z-friendly fashion resale app Depop for $1.6 billion

🔮 #FutureNormal // Depop now has 26 million users, 90% are Gen Z. And where Gen Z lead, the market will follow. Secondhand is the new status. Reselling makes you smart, not desperate. ‘Pre-loved’ items are sustainable, not shabby. Vintage is unique, just like you.  

💡 So what? // ‘Cool’ is always in flux. Teenagers will forever embrace what the previous generation rejected, and vice versa. 

Forbes 50 Women over 50

🔮 #FutureNormal // Yes, youth will continue to be celebrated. But there’s growing awareness of the economic and cultural impact of older people, too. Even back in 2015, spending by older households in the G20 was almost $10 trillion, more than the combined GDP of Japan, Australia, Canada and Brazil. The kids won’t have all the fun, as this inspirational list shows.

💡 So what? // Our society will be reshaped as older generations rage against the dying of their lights with more money in their pockets, more spring in their step and more years of active life. Don’t write off older people, embrace and serve them.