On boring opportunities

Trending topics, breaking news, all the buzz... Don't we all love it? It is a good indicator to look at something worth pursuing. And many do. Just try to count all products covering social proof, social media scheduling, keyword monitoring (cough), link-in-bio, or GPT-3-based copy generators.

Now let's look at the other side. How about topics that fell out of favor? Are there any hidden opportunities?

In the fashion industry, there are trends, anti-trends, and trending anti-trends (not kidding.) All of them can be monetized. What is an anti-trend? One way to put it: "They're neither fashionable nor decidedly unfashionable, they just work for me and have done for some time now. They're not of-the-moment, nor are they completely passé. They're not necessarily classic or basic but you'll find they slot into your day-to-day getting-dressed routines very easily."

In finance, "a downtrend refers to the price action of a security that moves lower in price as it fluctuates over time." One way to make a profit from downturns is short selling, i.e. "profit from downtrends by borrowing and then immediately selling shares with the agreement to repurchase them in the future." Another way is the falling knife: Don't catch it, but "wait for the price to bottom out before buying it."

One last example: programming languages or dev-tech in general. Yes, one is well-advised when picking up something trending up in surveys done by GitHub, Stack Overflow, or TIOBE, for example. There is definitely a market and your chances are good to land a job. On the other hand, there are a lot of software systems out there that use (soon to be) outdated technology. And you can earn a lot of money as a specialist for those.

I wonder how an "anti-trend-approach" could be generalized. That is, find data points indicating that a topic is either declining or at least staying consistent. Most data/ trend products I've seen only seem to focus on topics going up? In an additional step, find companies making good money in downtrending markets. How could their offers be exploited? What makes them still successful? Or companies that went out of business in "boring" markets. What did they do wrong? What can be learned from their mistakes? Where can you do better?

This post is based on Basic Problem issue #51.

If you liked this, feel free to follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my newsletter.

Previous Post