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How to spot the next big (digital) thing

Technologies fall in and out of fashion like trendy neighborhoods

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People change. Their tastes evolve. New things become fashionable, and others pass out of use. Digital stuff is not immune to this process. In fact, digital stuff is probably more susceptible to shifts in usage because so little of it is contained in a physical object. How do we figure out what the next interesting website or digital social tool will be used? I suspect that real estate professionals already have a good sense for figuring some of this out, if they can apply what they know about patterns of human behavior in the real world to the way people do things in the digital world. Most of the real estate professionals I know have a keen sense of what neighborhood is currently desirable in their market. But knowing what the trendy neighborhood is not the same as knowing why it's trendy. Maybe a neighborhood is desirable because of the quality of its schools. Maybe it has to do with proximity to some other useful services. Or maybe it's simply economics or some other factor. But f...