#75 How Can We Get Better At Forecasting the Future: Mark Earls

Almost all of us do a poor job of predicting the future. 

This show looks at how we can adapt to the disruption and change the future inevitably brings.  Using examples from business and our personal lives, we consider how to be smarter and more successful.

"We over-estimate how bad we might feel if we lose something, and under-estimate how we will feel if something good happens,” says our guest, Mark Earls.


Mark joins Jim and Richard at our living room table in New York. Usually Mark is based in London where he's a well-known author and consultant on marketing, communications and behavioral change.  His books include “Copy Copy Copy”, "HERD: How to Change Mass Behavior by Harnessing Our True Nature” and “I’ll Have What She’s Having

"We have to realize…we have to prepare for multiple futures," Mark tells us in this episode. Some additional takeaways:

Start small. For example Spotify began in a small market (Sweden) and it was able to be more agile, make mistakes and react to its competition more effectively than a larger company.
Product plus: some of the most successful companies are the ones that make a product AND deliver a service; Dollar Shave Club is a good example of this.  
Customer service is more important than ever. “You can’t have that ‘take a ticket and wait in line’ attitude towards customers; you need to fix it.
In our personal lives prepare for multiple future scenarios: what would happen if you had an unexpected expense, how would you deal with a serious illness or a absence from work, or a major housing expense?