Twenty Twenty Free (Trends & Predictions)
This is the first post of new monthly newsletter, OUTLET, that gives you One Useful Thing Literally Every Time to help you work and live better. To subscribe to receive OUTLET before anyone else, head to my Substack page.
A few years ago, as a new year’s resolution, I told my husband that I was going to write a book that year. It had been brewing in my mind for a while, and I just needed that tiny extra bit of arm-twisting motivation and accountability that comes when you verbalise it out loud.
As we flew home from Malaysia on the first of January, I started writing the rough outline that would eventually become my first book, Cult Status.
This year, when I woke up on the first of January, I had a similar urge to start something new, but this time a helpful regular email newsletter that added to your life in some small way.
Your inbox is one of your last remaining sacred spaces, where you can still control who’s invited and who is not without an algorithm getting too much in the way. I love the intimacy of email, and I’ve been thinking for a while about what I could create inside your precious inbox that gives real value, instead of just amplifying more noise.
A few thousand of you are reading this email, and previous incarnations of my musings, because you read and downloaded the accompanying worksheet from Cult Status or Killer Thinking (thank you). Another 500 or so joined in the last few days after I announced I’d be writing this (seriously, thank you).
So I’d now like to officially introduce you to my new monthly email, OUTLET, which – in my lifelong love affair with acronyms – stands for One Useful Thing Literally Every Time.
Each month I’m going to share with you something of genuinely value that will help you be better at work or life. It might be a new resource, tool or model that I use, or just something fun or interesting. But it will always be useful.
Sounds good? Let’s kick it off.
One Useful Thing for January 2023
But we had a little secret: in our industries (media, publishing, advertising and marketing) Australia tended to run about 6 to 12 months behind overseas trends. Things that seemed revolutionary down under were generally road-tested in other markets, especially America, before popping up in Australia as a new idea.
Our trick was to read/watch/listen to as much international media as possible on trends and topics that were starting to break overseas. For me, that including daily check-ins on international trade publications like Digiday for media and marketing, or Skift for travel news, as well as following with vigour great thinkers like Ezra Klein from NYT and Kara Swisher from New York Magazine. We also tried to head over the US annually to expand our network, attend presentations and uncover trends to bring back to the Australian market before anyone else (for the media world I was in, IAB’s Newfronts always covered some fascinating topics each year).
Every industry has its forward-thinkers that you can seek out. Never underestimate how much inspiration you can get by poking your head outside your own bubble and re-interpreting what’s happening in another market in your own. You get bonus points if you’re the first ones to do it.
So, for my very first One Useful Thing of the year I’m sharing with you a Google Drive full of predictions and trends for 2023 from over a hundred of the smartest companies in the world.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, this folder is a future crystal ball for almost every topic imaginable, like technology, the economy, environment, social media, travel, ideas, talent acquisition, culture, gardening, food, media, drink, employee experience, transport, wellness, Web3, workplaces, digital marketing, real estate, influencers, fashion, customer experience, cyberthreats, retail, grocery, advertising, beauty, creative, events and more.
It is so bloody fascinating to read through what some of the biggest companies in the world are predicting for the year ahead. Most people, if they’re fortunate, might have access to one or two of these presentations. So the ability to browse, learn from, borrow, and absorb all of the 120+ presentations is pretty damn awesome (and slightly overwhelming if you try to look at too many). And really, why should only certain gatekeepers have access to this type of information?
I didn’t compile this folder, but I know the value of it and want you to have access to it as well. This treasure trove of information from almost every major management consultancy, global agency, social media company and trend forecasters is generously pulled together annually be a group of strategists from around the world (thanks legends).
If you really have time to dive deep into it, you can also look back at the folders of the 2022 or 2021 predictions too and see how they stacked up. This is the best time of the year to think from a wider perspective about trends and how they fit into your strategy.
Why this is useful: One of the steps I outline in Killer Thinking to give a good idea the best chance of becoming a brilliant one is to launch into a rising tide. In the book I run through a few macro trends that are driving these movements. In these presentations are hundreds of ‘micro tides’ that you can use to help propel yourself, your ideas and your business forward. You can see what’s coming, learn something new, and hopefully jump ahead of some of the trends before they properly reach your shores.
If anything, it’s also extremely illuming to understand how some of the biggest (and supposedly smartest?) businesses in the world report and deliver information that you can learn from to help you improve your own presentation skills.
How to use this: If you want to get the most of this wealth of information, this is how I suggest you can best use it:
- Go into the Google Drive and scroll through the list until you find a topic or company that interests you (and with over 120 presentations, that shouldn’t be too hard!).
- Download the presentations.
- Find some quiet time after the kids have gone to bed, or you’ve finished doing the washing up, and curl up with your computer to read through the presentations without any distractions.
- Write our your top outtakes from each presentation, thinking especially about which of them will affect you in the future and how you can jump ahead of a trend to give you an advantage.
- Lastly, share your summary or insights with your colleagues or people you know would also be interested in it to kick off a conversation about the future together.
If you really want to have all the presentations, you can also go into the folder one level up, click once on “02. 2023 predictions”, then on the three dots that says “More Actions” in the top right corner and press “Download”. That will download every one of the 121+ presentations into a Zip folder on your own computer so you can browse them at your own leisure. This is a live folder with new presentations added all the time, so you can also keep checking it to see fresh insights.
A note of caution in all of this however: sometimes predictions and trend forecasting can be a load of bullsh#t. Remember that they are occasionally written with hidden or self-motivated agendas, so read through all of them with a curious but open mind.
And that’s it. That’s the very first edition of OUTLET, giving you One Useful Thing that I hope to repeat Literally Every Time you open this email. It’ll come directly into your inbox around the middle of each month, and I’ve already got a long list of useful things that I can’t wait to share with you over the next 12 months.
If you’ve found this handy, please share this email with other people you think will also enjoy it. They can sign up directly to receive future emails directly from my new Substack page.
I’m currently being a slomad (a slightly wanky but useful descriptor of how my husband and I are living right now as ‘slow nomads’) in the Canary Islands in Spain. I’ll be returning to Australia next month for a few weeks of presentations, workshops and in-person catch ups that I’m really looking forward to.
Until next time,
If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to receive OUTLET before anyone else over at to my Substack page.