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My 2008 Coolhunting Prediction: Goatees Are Out

I'm an uncool person. I'm used to that fact. However, I have an affinity for cool people and cool things. That means that I'm often a leading indicator. The hard part is knowing what for, since I'm uncool. I once thought about doing work as a coolhunter but I don't have an affinity for the work, other than self-absorption. However, I've turned this to better use in the tech industry where I've been right the past few years much more often than I've been wrong (for a funny take on wrong, check IDC and the Itanic or Gartner and Qwest).

So on to my 2008 prediction: Goatees are Gone. I sported a goatee starting in the early 90's, where I was often frowned at by IT and consultants as some sort of freakish hippy. But around the mid-90's suddenly everyone had them. About two years ago I decided that it needed to go, and finally started shaving earlier this year, blending in again with the trendy web developer crowd. And now it's official: goatees are out (if it's made fun of in Dilbert then it's definitely uncool).

If you doubt my powers of prognostication, consider that I was right (2-3 years ahead) about the rise of coffeehouses, southwest cuisine, US wine consumption, sushi, ecotourism, commercial blogging, bold home and restaurant color schemes, the non-starting of natural language search, online video sharing and square dinner plates (which you can now get anywhere but which I had to search for weeks).

I was also way off on real estate investment in the bay area in the late 90s, Microstrategy dying after suing one too many customers, and MDM products, conflating them with Modern Drunkard Magazine and giving them (not the practice but the products) a pass. Never claimed to be perfect.

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