Innovation Blog

26.8.04 25-Aug-04: Time Compression, Videogaming, Infantization

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An update from 25-Aug-04


In my speaking journeys, I always touch on the subject of
"Time Compression." This week, we've updated this Metatrend
at the site, but even I was surprised at some of the
evidence uncovered that clearly points to the acceleration
of life.

Did you know that Wagner's ring has sped up by almost one
hour since it was first played in 1876, due to a faster

Or that sleep is being affected by Time Compression, with
the average U.S. adult sleeping two hours less each day,
compared to the 1920s?

While that may not be surprising, the National Sleep
Foundation recently reported that even infants now average
almost 90 minutes less sleep a day than the 14-hour
minimum doctors recommend, suggesting that another favorite
Time Compression spin-off, "Darwin on Steroids" -- the
acceleration of evolution, is also coming in to play.

And how about the fact that gift-card sales have exploded to
US$40 billion in 2003, up from $13 billion just five years
ago, because no one has the bandwidth to select gifts

I encourage you to understand Time Compression, because it
continues to have a major impact on all facets of life. A
prime example is the collapse of the traditional U.S.
airline industry.

What you are seeing at work is a shift to Time
Compression-driven airlines, like JetBlue and Southwest,
which can turn a plane around in 30 minutes or less,
vis-à-vis legacy carriers that work ploddingly slow.

Our conclusion: time is more valuable than money.


Michael Tchong
Trend Analyst

Comcast Launches PVR and New Guide
A lot of people wonder if TiVO's goose is cooked. This week,
Comcast formally announced the national roll-out of its HDTV
PVR, which it will rent you for a mere $10 per month.

Now look at DirecTV's TiVO HDTV PVR, which sells for $1000.
Which would you rather have?


Sony Launches LCD TVs with LED Backlighting
It may look as a typical new product announcement, but the
underlyng Sony message is clear: Let's take the interface
from our super-succesful PlayStation videogame platform and
meld it with HDTV.

The convergence result? A TV that responds much faster to
user interaction through the use of an on-screen menuing
system and joystick borrowed from the PSX.

Oh, and that 46-inch LCD screen with 1080p resolution ain't
to shabby either.


Declining Plasma Prices Fuel 169% Sales Growth
They say that any upheaval provides a great opportunity for
someone to upset the apple cart. Check out who's tied with
Sony for most plasmas shipped? Panasonic.

Expect much more upheaval as the HDTV market becomes a
$70 billion opportunity by 2008.


*Time Compression*
According to the James Beard Foundation, when cream of wheat
was introduced in 1893, it took 15 minutes to prepare. By
1939, it was five minutes. Now, it takes just 30 seconds.
Draw your own conclusions.


*Video Games*
Arc Group predicts the mobile game industry could reach $8.4
billion worldwide by 2008, up from about $200 million in the
U.S. and $600 million in Europe today.




Success, Failure and Passion in a world of Mood Consumption.
The next Style-Vision Round Table, in cooperation with
Financial Times, is taking place October 13-15th 2004 in the
South of France. Several leading brands, creative agencies
and thinkers have already signed up to this exclusive and
intimate forum for shaping and sharing consumption and
lifestyle directions. Make sure you're part of it! CHANEL,

Visit for more info.


Everyone wants to be cool. Tylenol is using street teams to
market its new Tylenol Cool Caplets, which provide an
"instant cooling" of your hot headache. Agency Deutsch,
armed with data from trend consultant Faith Popcorn, has
deployed 90 attractive women, clad in low-cut, white velour
outfits with fur trim and known as the "Tylenol Cool Caps
Girls," to distribute samples in six markets, including New
York, and where else, South Beach.


Sanford Bernstein predicts that by 2009 cable networks will
peak, collectively attracting about 57% of prime-time
viewers, up from 53% in 2004 and 43% in 2000. That forecast
does not sit to well with the cable industry.



by Deborah Murhpy

There is a socio-cultural trend towards "infantization,"
which offers opportunities for product development and
marketing in an unlimited number of fields.

The inevitable outgrowth of Casual, Complexity Nervosa,
Fountain of Youth, Infant-asy captures the need to behave
like an infant, and to embrace products, services and venues
that support that demand.

Consider these reversions: On-demand feeding, those
ubiquitous water bottles with nipples. Pampering and
comforting, like being wrapped at day-spas or relying on
in-home massages, or wearing pajamas day-in day-out, at home
and in public.

Sitting in an "infant-seat," recliners/loungers with built-in
food and drink holders. Seeking baby-soft skin, i.e. no
wrinkles, and removing body hair, wearing little tees or
chenille, flannel and fleece. Expressing unfiltered raw
emotions, like those crying and shrieking fits on
"confession" TV.

Relying on grown-ups like Martha Stewart, while refusing to
be a grown-up: voting for American Idol, but not registering
to vote. Buying robots for companionship and amusement. Being
under surveillance 24/7 to insure safety and confirm location.

Infant-asy provides many opportunities. Consider the
burgeoning demand in personal caretaking, like picking up dry
cleaning, groceries or getting a pet to the groomer. Or the
emerging market for soothing sounds. There is also more room
for games activated by touch, like in waiting areas where
advanced equipment distracts by providing on-demand Solitaire.

How about more tactile products with light and sound? Or more
ubiquitous playpens? Even more versatile strollers, think
golf carts, should be developed and marketed to wanna-be
infants who have given up the desire to walk anywhere.

The opportunity to market to Infant-asy will exist for at
least five more years. In the meantime, observant marketers
need to remember what happens when infants mature and demand
independence, individuality, power, influence and


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