Zeitguide 2013-A Briefing of the Year Ahead

Zeitguide 2013

A prediction of the near future:

The democratization of art, hyperlocal food, the re-ignition of US manufacturing and the rise of social companies.

Here’s an excerpt (and my favorite part):

MADE IN THE USA, AGAIN

After decades of offshoring, some manufacturing is finally coming back to the U.S. All the cool kids are doing it: AppleGoogleStarbucks, even the nation’s largest industrial company, GE.

So is it just a patriotic gesture or a sign of a legitimate trend? Although “Made in the USA Again” is a great headline—and there certainly has been political pressure on companies—the motivators for on-shoring manufacturing appear to be solidly financial. Oil prices are three times what they were in 2000, making transocean shipping much pricier. Meantime, a natural gas boom is pushing down U.S. energy prices. Chinese labor costs are up fivefold, still cheap but rising, whereas American wages have, as we all know, stagnated. Unions have made deep concessions about new hires in particular. And building products in the U.S. means you can get them onto store shelves much, much faster.

Collaboration and innovation improve, too. When GE evaluated how to make GeoSpring water heaters in Kentucky instead of China, it wound up with a much better designAs reported in The Atlantic, the new water heater had 20 fewer parts, material costs went down 25 percent, and it took two hours to assemble instead of 10. It was more energy efficient and now retails for $300less.

Although no one expects manufacturing to spring back up to 1990 levels, Boston Consulting Group predicted that 2 million or more jobs could return to U.S. shores. Supply chain expert and MIT professor David Simchi-Levi surveyed 108 multinationals over the summer and found 14 percent planned to bring some manufacturing back to the U.S. If there’s been any hiccup, it’ssoftening demand because of fiscal cliff pessimists.

From CoolHunting.com

Each year, consulting agency Grossman & Partners pulls on a wealth of research, intuition and cultural know-how to produce the Zeitguide, a briefing for the year ahead. The project is an addendum to their day job, which involves assessing cultural goings-on and making sense of them for corporations. Founder Brad Grossman started his company following a long stint as producer Brian Grazer’s right-hand man, a piece of training that molded him into a walking, talking cultural compass. Anyone who knows Grossman is aware of his dizzying pace and capacity for big picture thinking. Over the year, Grossman and his team meticulously pore over events and developments, parsing out the noise to give a clean and concise overview of the things you need to know.

Until recently, Grossman as well as his incomparable assistant, Gigi Swift called CH HQ their home. This year’s edition of the Zeitguide is a fond reminder of the savvy team as well as a look at what to expect in the coming months. The edition highlights the democratization of art, hyperlocal food, the re-ignition of US manufacturing and the rise of social companies, not to mention dozens of other trends in a range of industries. The insights are invaluable for not only connecting the dots and assessing what went on in 2012, but also predicting what it all means for the future. (It’s also a great catchup tool in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past year.)

The Zeitguide—both in print and as a hypertext—is available online for $35.

via Zeitguide 2013.

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