"Stop working hard. Start being first."

With these words, Julien Smith's Bold Talk kicks us off into a set of trends and principles that will help you navigate your business into uncluttered new market spaces.

His short list of inevitable trends: the internet of things, "bottom-up everything" disruption, the sharing economy, wearable computing, exporting proven models into developing world, 3D printing, and smartphones as identity and payment.

Technology is Jenga

Look at what must happen. Not merely what could happen, because technology is a giant game of Jenga. Everything that happens builds up upon the layers, levels and technologies that have come before. 
The reason this approach works is encapsulated in Chris Dixon's exhortation to look carefully at what hobbyists are doing in their garages and basements. Future trends start out very small and obscure, get shaped by the forces of time and risk, and only then evolve into something big. Julien also gives a sneak preview of his startup, Breather.

Julien Smith was one of the first podcasters and one of the first users of Twitter. He was among the first, with Chris Brogan, to jump from blogs to book deals with the New York Times bestseller, Trust Agents. Now, with Breather, he is frequently among the first to take advantage of more emerging technologies.


Julien's Slides:

Sketch Notes:


Graphic recording by Kingman Ink.

Julien Smith is Co-Founder & CEO, Breather.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @Julien

INBOUND 2013, attended by over 5,500 inbound marketers, entrepreneurs, and executives, included an INBOUND: Bold Talks experimental storytelling stage. We will publish each talk right here in the Opinion section until all 36 are online.

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Originally published Dec 13, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023