External trends are the driver of opportunity – In particular, the timing of trends is a crucial factor determining how value is built. Crucial, too, because the conditions must be right when it’s time to realise the value, if that’s the objective. Trends are all about external risks that you can’t control.

Primary Trends

Primary trends are big, reliable, and long lasting

There are many ways in which trends can impact business strategy, and Primary Trends are long lasting and more likely to be reliable business drivers.

Water, Climate Change, Demographics – these are all very long term trends, as are the more technologically driven trends of Electrification, Digitalisation, and Dehumanisation.

Opportunities are a matter of choice

Opportunities can be like fireflies – bright but fleeting and excitable – or more directed and steady in nature, but they are chosen or not by entrepreneurs and investors.

Entrepreneur and investor alike should be clear exactly how value is created and why. Almost all technologies are valueless without a business model that determines how and how well it is deployed. Even pure research, such as drug discovery, will remain in the lab and academic paper without a viable business model to get it into society, eventually.

Business models are opportunities, themselves, and are often the poor relation in the slide deck, which understates their importance in value creation. A reliable trend and viable business model takes you a long way towards devising a sustainable venture.

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Peter is chairman of Flexiion and has a number of other business interests. (c) 2019, Peter Osborn

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