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Still crazy after all these years…

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Bringing this one back to the top…

Late last year I posted this model illustrating predictable patterns of human motivation that generally overlay cultural decades.

In short, the article below predicts that the 20’s will be defined as a phase of exploration and personal discovery.

Sure enough, even in the context of inflationary pressure, we see in our ongoing neuroscience-backed database that interesting, exciting experiences are driving consumer behavior much more strongly than mere price-avoidance.


Dec, 2021:

Not long ago, I was talking with a Wall Street analyst who covers the CPG space – he mentioned that the c-suite leaders he meets with are collectively (and urgently) pondering how to navigate the ‘black swan’ period that basically comprised the last couple of years.

My response was that the first step is to recognize that the past couple of years haven’t been all that out of the ordinary…

WHAT?!? But this has been “unprecedented” – “everything has changed” – we’re into the “next normal” – etc., etc.

Yes – the last couple of years have been the weirdest. But it turns out that when you apply neuroscience to help explain what we’ve all been experiencing, the pandemic et al has merely accelerated us into a predictable cultural phase.

In other words, everything didn’t change – it just sped up a bit. And the cycle has been happening for decades (and certainly longer). So while recent history has certainly FELT dramatic and black swan-esque, our cultural cycles are actually pretty predictable.

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A few high-points…

  • In the early 2000’s, 9/11 accelerated us into a highly ‘tribal’ mindset – banding together against a commonly-perceived threat.

  • In the late 2000’s, the financial crisis catalyzed a ‘rebel’ mindset – out with the broken conventions of old, and let’s blaze a different path (i.e., “Millennials”).

  • Now, the pandemic has accelerated us into an ‘exploratory’ phase – discovering new, rewarding, personalized ways of living.

So take some comfort knowing that, while it has certainly been crazy, it’s been crazy before.

And we’ll not only endure, but discover new-and-better in the years ahead.