⏩ Future Normal: Fast Forward #9

Day 1 for Amazon workers; Epic's $1 billion metaverse; zero-emission Dutch deliveries and more...

This week, five compelling glimpses of The Future Normal for you, featuring Amazon, Epic and Coinbase, among others. Each illustrates a big underlying shift in how we will live, work and shop.

Will one of them inspire you to think differently about where you head from here? The future is ours to build, together.


Is this (finally) Day 1 for Amazon’s workers and the climate…?

🔮 #FutureNormal // Jeff Bezos’ final shareholder letter took a rather different (and to my mind, defensive) tone: setting a goal for the company to become “Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work”. If Amazon can raise the bar here as they have done for customers, that’s an inspiring thought.

💡#TrendTruth // Let’s be real. For a long time Amazon stood as a cautionary tale to those who claimed that customers valued meaning, purpose and positive impact (compared to low prices & fast delivery?! No contest! ;) The optimist in me welcomes this as signal that doing good is, in the end, an unavoidable trend. The cynic says it’s telling this is Jeff’s final act as CEO. Over to you, Andy Jassy…

Coinbase goes public; crypto goes mainstream?

🔮 #FutureNormal // Depending on which side of the fence you sit, this is either the beginning of the end of the crypto bubble, or the end of the Wild West phase and the start of the mainstreaming of crypto. Whatever the fortunes of Coinbase and Bitcoin themselves, clearly the digital money genie is out of the bottle.

💡#TrendTruth // Bill Gates famously said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.“ Indeed, the most impactful deployment of new technologies usually happens once the peak of inflated expectations has passed.

Dutch cities mandate zero-emission deliveries by 2025

🔮 #FutureNormal //  If Jeff Bezos can treat his workers right, and e-vans silently and cleanly deliver our packages, might we be able to happily order sh*t we don’t need without a side of worker or climate guilt? \o/

💡#TrendTruth // The internet and the digital era was kickstarted by government intervention. Similarly, we need to embrace government action that changes the rules of the game to promote sustainable solutions.

Property developer plans 5,000 UK retirement homes in city centres

🔮 #FutureNormal // If young office workers flee city centers to WFA, might older retirees move in? Will the Experience Economy shift to 9am-5pm, thanks to rich, carefree Baby Boomers?

💡#TrendTruth // Want an ‘easy’ way to apply trends. Take a widespread trend (e.g. the Experience Economy) and apply it to an overlooked demographic (e.g. older people). Shock horror, they’ll probably embrace it.

Epic Games raises $1 billion to build the metaverse

🔮 #FutureNormal // I’ve been obsessed with Epic Games for a long time. Even before the pandemic, Fortnite’s impact on society and culture was fascinating. Similarly, its MetaHuman engine (See FF#1) points towards a world of hybrid personalities. Now its ambitions for the metaverse get even wilder and yet simultaneously more within reach. Keep watching.

💡#TrendTruth // There’s never a ‘moment’ when trends emerge fully formed. Look for the slow build, the incremental improvements, the generational behaviours that signal things are shifting.

Thanks for reading,