Forecasting, Samsung Mobile Innovation Lab
In a town where everyone is looking for the next big thing, how do you stay ahead of the game? I worked on a small team of researchers at Samsung's Silicon Valley R & D facility to gather emerging signals in the personal electronics space and analyze their impact on Samsung. Our trend report was submitted to Samsung's C-level execs. Report protected by NDA.
In forecasting, signals can be anything from a start-up receiving funding to a new concept for serving ice cream to an art installation in Brooklyn. Taken together, signals bubble up into broader trends. For instance, while the trend might be Transparency of Sourcing, the signals might be à la minute, a California ice cream shop where everything is made to order, high-end fashion company Everlane's decision to showcase their factories page, and the Fairphone, an ethical cell phone where source choices are transparent.
Creating a trend report involves gathering signals via expert interviews (business analysts, artists, researchers, professors, scientists), desk research (demographic changes, digital ethnography of "early adopter" online communities, analyzing reports within a specific industry) and observation (meetups, ethnography).
team of 3 researchers
A few examples of signals we identified in summer 2015:
rise of dinner delivery services like Blue Apron
rise in intergenerational living arrangements
car as in between space: people sitting in parked cars in their driveway or parking lots on their smart phone