In my last post, I suggested that some aspects of traditional business planning are no longer helpful. They’re not relevant, and they don’t highlight important trends that will surely affect every business for better or worse.

What are those trends? How do we know they’re coming? How will they affect us?

As I researched this post, I was inspired by Kevin Kelly’s book, The Inevitable. He describes “12 technological forces that will shape our future.” Is the book far-fetched? Well, we don’t have to look far to see what’s coming:

These trends are viewed as opportunities by the many startups around us. Some are completely new, like the ability to use 3D printing to create custom-fit prosthetic devices that are better and radically cheaper than traditional alternatives. Others combine a something familiar with something new, like getting chef-prepared meals on a subscription payment plan.

Our success or failure increasingly depends on our ability to first see and then accommodate these trends. There’s no doubt they’re going to affect our business, if they’re not already. The question is whether we’re going to harness them or be hurt by them.

Skim through the slides below (or get them here). They’re the same ones I used as a discussion piece for my “Entrepreneurship for Engineers” class. What do you think? Are these trends affecting your business? Are you harnessing them? Or planning to?