DOC: Joining us now, Martin Lindstrom. Hey, Martin, how are you?
MARTIN: I'm doing well.
DOC: I love the people who talk about trends because that's really what it takes if you're in business or even if you're just promoting yourself at work or trying to get better jobs. If you know trends, you know where to fish; right? You know where the fish are going to be.
MARTIN: Absolutely. And I think what it helps you to do is be one step ahead of everybody else. So it's a matter of picking up those small clues around you. And basically translate that into a new direction five minutes before everyone else realizes this is a direction; right?
DOC: Yeah, absolutely. Give me some example of some of the trends that you think are on the horizon.
MARTIN: Well, I think there's three challenging trends. The first trend is that we are not present anymore, and that would be the next big trend. Let me give you an example. And be honest here, Doc. If you're standing in a bar and you're waiting for a person to show up, the person is late and the first thing you do is grab something with your phone, do something with it, anything with it.
DOC: Martin, please, I don't go to bars. Those are negative places. Alcohol I don't associate with such people. I mean, if I go to church, I'll do that if they're late with the sermon.
Yeah, we all, we grab our phone. If you're bored for a second at the doctors office or anything, the phone's on; right?
MARTIN: Exactly. That is the issue. There's three major consequences with this. The first thing is we don't connect with people anymore. I spoke to a bartender the other day, and he told me he never speaks to his customers anymore because they're on their phones. The second thing is we don't see things anymore. We don't observe things anymore, and it's a bit bad. But the third thing is even worse. We never get bored anymore. And boredom or that pause in our life is the foundation for creativity. So what we see happening right now is that being present is disappearing. And the counterbalance to that will be the more present. So people on cruise ships, on concepts, concepts going up 15 percent. People going to the farmers market up 70 percent. So really training people to be present and pay a fortune to be present because we're never present anymore; right?
DOC: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. If your mind is occupied on all of this stuff we have to think about, and we a lot more stuff to think about every day. Just trying to remember all the codes for your passwords for your computer and everything and all of the stuff we have to do. Everybody has to be on social media and multiple platforms and all of this. If your mind is filled with all of that stuff, you're not going to have time to just think what could I do that would be creative in this area?
MARTIN: When I wrote the book small data, I wrote it in a swimming pool.
DOC: I would have thought the papers would get wet or the computer would --
BRAD: Thank you.
MARTIN: I'm pretty impressed right now, actually.
DOC: Waterproof paper. It will be the rage for writing books in swimming pools.
MARTIN: I call it the water moment. And some people have it in the shower, some people when they're running, when they're in the car. But people feel this is an unproductive time. Do you know what? It couldn't be further from the truth. You actually need to have a break with yourself, and that moment will help you to reflect on things. It gives you a cause. Because here's the issue. Think about it. The first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is to grab our phone; right? So we work in the bed. And let me just remind you the main purpose to be in the bed is two purposes but not three; right?
MARTIN: We go to the bar, listen to this. This is crazy. We did a study the other day with young kids, boys from the years of 15 to 18 years of age. And this is so crazy. One third of these young kids were on the phone in the shower; right?
DOC: Writing books. Writing books.
MARTIN: Of course. Paper-based; right?
MARTIN: And then what is happening is we're doing our work in the bathroom, we're doing our work when we have our breakfast, we're doing our work on the way to work in our car. And then we're doing private stuff at work; right? What's so fascinating about this and scary is we never have a transformation moment anymore. We never transform from one state of mind to another. And you know what's happening with your computer. We never reset it anymore. It's just on all the time. And we all know if we don't do it, it gets slower. Well, that's the case with our brains. We actually get slower right now. So we need to create these transformational points in our lives to become more creative, to become more present. And actually to connect to people more. And that is the biggest downside right now.
So you ask me what is one of the trends? It's definitely that. And now think one of the things you have to do is find your personal water moment, and that helps you to pause for a second.
BRAD: Martin, this is Brad. I'm here with Doc. And I'm familiar with some CEOs that do something called creative fitness, basically, where they'll have a logic problem that they have to solve. And they'll go off and do something like knitting. Something that uses the other side of the brain. Is that along the same lines? Does that give your brain the same break?
MARTIN: It does because here's the issue: When you -- that's called the chicken cage syndrome and let me explain this for a moment. A story was done seven years ago where if you put a chicken in a cage, and it stays that cage for half a year and one day you open the gate and push the chicken out, it will walk into the beautiful green grass with the birds singing and after ten seconds, it will go 180 degrees back into the cage. And I call that the chicken cage syndrome, and we're all suffering from that. In our daily lives we're so packed with duties, we almost act like robots because we have no space to be different. So what the CEOs are doing, what these creative talents are doing is to free themselves up from going back to the chicken cage and force their mind to be different. And I think in many ways coming back to the small business theme, I think this is in many ways what a business leader has to do because this is a way you point out a trend before everyone else. Because if you stand in a cage, while it's a little bit like you can't see the forest with just trees. You see it from your own angle. But if you jump out of that angle and see the world completely differently, that's where you see business opportunities. And think -- I guess, the best way to illustrate that is to really take you back to a brand like LEGO. You guys are familiar with LEGO; right?
MARTIN: So in 2013, 2012, the LEGO company was closed to bankruptcy. Can you believe that? And back then, the LEGO brand had learned that there was something called the instant gratification generation. These young kids had no patience for anything whatsoever and wouldn't have the time to play with Legos. Guess what? The executives basically concluding using big data and all of this stuff that forget about the small bricks. Let's create gigantic building blocks so you can build a castle in half an hour rather than six hours. So to do that, they change the size of the LEGO bricks and December 2013, the sales drop was 31 percent and time management goes into panic. Now, what you normally would have done is think let's create more big blocks and stuff like that. But the LEGO team did something differently. They jumped out of the chicken cage and the way they did that was to move to young kids' bedrooms, literally. So they end up in the home of an 11-year-old kid, a German kid. And they're sitting on the bedroom floor, they ask this kid one, simple question. What are you most proud of? And this kid, he pauses for a second. He points at himself, and on himself is an old warn down pair of sneakers. And of course the team from LEGO is completely perplexed thought he would say Sony PlayStation or Nintendo or something, but he doesn't. So he takes down this pair of sneakers and asks him why. And the kid is replying back, well, I'm the best skater in town. But the evidence I have for my friends is the wear and tear on the side of the sole. You see, when you're a really good skateboarder, you slide down the skateboard, and it creates the wear and tear on the side of the sole.
And of course the team from LEGO realizes that very second that this is the revolution for Legos. This is the answer. Because this kids has tens, hundreds, if not thousands of hours of time to fine-tune the sole on their sneaker, why wouldn't they have time to play with Legos? So they change the bricks back to the small bricks, they event the LEGO movie, which was number two in the U.S., and also team up with Harry Potter and Star Wars and today LEGO is not only the number one toy brand in the world, it was recently announced to be the biggest brand in the world. And all of that began with an old, worn down pair of sneakers. And this is my message to both of you guys and all of the listeners is that we see the world from one point of view. You have to wake up. You have to go out of that chicken cage and start to pick up what I call small data. And this is really seemingly significant observation you pick up in the daily lives which actually represents an amazing opportunity no one has seen.
DOC: We're going to go ahead and tweet out a link. It's MartinLindstrom.com and the book is small data. The LEGO story is just one like many that's going to help you as you look for future trends to brand yourself, help your family, or start a business or further your business. Martin, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
MARTIN: You're welcome.
DOC: We'll tweet it out again. It's MartinLindstrom.com.