The Business Trendsetter Podcast

The Business Trendsetter Podcast

Ready to create lasting and sustainable business growth? Join our weekly show with hosts Adam Hartung & Manny Teran of Spark Partners. Combined they have created over $3 Billion in customer value and leverage Adam’s deep domain expertise on Disruptive Innovation to teach business leaders how to transform their businesses. Do you want your business to be a market leader or a market laggard? Discover business trends and learn how to leverage them to create lasting business success and become a market disruptor. Join us today to evolve your thinking, create and execute better business growth strategies, and grow!


June 1, 2023 30 mins

Tesla and Ford made a deal to let Ford use the Tesla charging standard (NACS) on their Mustang Mach-E and other electric vehicles.  Why would Ford want to use Tesla’s technology? That’s the content of this podcast – and the lesson it can teach small businesses.

We often have a great idea.  But then it doesn’t seem to sell.  This podcast explains why.  We overlook what it is we ask of the customer. Often our new big idea asks a lot –...

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There’s been a lot of confusion about what ChatGPT and other AI tools can do.  Some people think it’s the end of humanity. Others think it will be greatly productive.  The important thing to know is that, like the internet, this is a big advance in technology that will create a lot of opportunities for better business operations and growth.

ChatGPT is basically a word calculator.  If we use calculators, why not use a word calculator...

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Peloton went from a crowdsourced start up to a billion dollar Unicorn in 6 years.  6 years later and the company is teetering on failure.  How could management have blown it so badly?

This podcast overviews how most management teams during good times focus far too much energy on improving their single Value Delivery System.  They over-invest, and then aren’t prepared when sales slow.  When times are good they should be clearly defin...

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You can use trends to build highly accurate scenarios improving decision-making.  The last podcast discussed how demographic trends mean that Millennials and Zoomers will be running companies soon. This podcast dives into the impact on workplaces. Specifically the radical decline in needs for commercial office space.

Nationally nearly half of all commercial real estate is empty.  Vacancy rates are sky high.  Same is true for retail ...

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Understanding Millenials and Gen Z To Predict Workplace Trends

Millenials and Gen Z (Zoomers) already make up half the workforce.  By 2025 Zoomers will be 25% on their own.  Despite the outsized voices of Baby Boomers (who mostly are out of the workforce) this means the work world will change dramatically.  And it’s not even hard to predict how.  Just look at demographic surveys and you will not only predict how work will change, bu...

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Demographics drive more societal change than anything else.  Or should we say everything else.  And demographics are extremely predictable.  Yet we tend to ignore demographics because there’s little we can do to change them.  In this podcast we explain how to use demographcis to make better decisions. 

For 40 years America, and most of the developed world, has moved jobs to China – helping build a strong economy with extensive infra...

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Customers won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you.  The very minimum is you must promise to your customer what you will deliver, and then make good on that promise.  If your product and/or service doesn’t deliver on its promise, you won’t have trust and you won’t have sales.  Surprisingly, companies often fail at this very bottom level.  They fail to meet their promise, and they lose trust.  For example, Fox News admitted it had...

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The world’s richest people are all self-made billionaires. None started with great family wealth, nor corporations. But can we identify what made them billionaires while others only wish for wealth.

This podcast explains how the path to $1B is available to everyone. But most of us don’t focus on the right things.  First and foremost, it takes a very strong commitment to growing revenues. And to do that requires understanding and inv...

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We are inundated with statistics.  But most of us have no idea how to apply the vast majority of them to our business.  This podcast explains how you can use reported statistics to make better business decisions – with specific examples about megatrends that are shifting today.

Surveying Americans you will discover that the importance of patriotism has fallen 32 percentage points in 25 years.  Importance of religion has fallen 24 pe...

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Last week Gordon Moore died.  In 1965 he wrote a paper saying the number of transistors on a chip would double every 2 years (at that time, to 65,000). That was not a new physics law, it was a trend. And it turned out to be a powerful trend – today powerful microprocessors have 114 billion transistors.  By seeing how manufacturing could improve, Moore helped others see that the future could be dominated by microprocessors – or comp...

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Tech companies are undertaking massive layoffs. Economists say inflation is out of control.  Interest rates are skyrocketing. Banks are failing. Investors and bondholders are being wiped out, and deposits are at risk.  Lenders are unwilling to lend.  The news is full of stories, quoting business leaders, saying now is the time to retrench. Don’t invest – instead hoard cash and prepare for potential failure.

Balderdash.  This podcast...

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March 16, 2023 32 mins

The biggest risk of myopia is unintended consequences.  We set out to do one thing, and we don’t see the after-effects that happen – on customers, suppliers and employees.  Also, by focusing intently on our existing business we don’t see how unintended consequences of things outside our business can have enormous impact.  And, if we don’t see it coming, we don’t prepare our Value Delivery System for new risks.

This podcast overviews...

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Manny’s back from France, and in this podcast we discuss the difference in adoption rates of various trends in France versus the USA.  Work from Home, Gig economy, electrification of the auto fleet – we cover a lot of ground about the differences.  Doing so we discuss how local issues affect trends, as well as regulations.  The big trends apply, but when scenario planning we have to look at a lot of factors to develop accurate scen...

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With Manny in Grenoble, France this podcast focuses on global business.  First and foremost, it focuses on how every business – large or small – gains by having a better understanding of foreign markets.  Instead of thinking offshore is a way to export American business models, learning from foreign businesses new ways to compete.  Opening our minds, and our processes, to alternative ways of doing business.

We explore how technology...

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March 1, 2023 32 mins

By 2010 the internet was everywhere.  Most everyone had a Blackberry or iPhone.  Young and old alike knew what was, and doing Google searches.  But, most businesses still saw fully integrating their business onto web-based technology as unnecessary.  Even a waste of money.  While they processed orders manually, and did sales tracking manually, and took payments manually, and chased down bad debts manually the smart compa...

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This podcast talks frequently about individual trends.  Global trends that affect all parts of life, like environmental awareness, electrification and the aging population.  And global trends that impact work like mobility, asynchronous work tools, Gig work and AI. While these are interesting, the greatest value from understanding these trends lies in thinking how they interact with one another creating a future that will look quit...

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February 16, 2023 29 mins

Electricity has been part of every American’s life for 60 years.  But we are now going through a punctuated equilibrium that will change everything.  The old way was big power plants with thousands of miles of distribution lines and massive capacitor stations tied to homes and offices.  The future is a distributed grid where we will have local solar and wind coupled with in-house batteries and EV batteries allowing for far cheaper,...

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Employers are wondering if they should force employees back into the office.  Some demanding 100% in office, to some offering 100% remote work.  What’s the right answer?

This podcast answers that question by using the 4 Trends we discussed in “Thrive to the Future.”  Mobility, Gig work, Asynchronous work and Artificial Intelligence.  Those 4 major trends are just as powerful in 2023 as they were in 2020.  And they will drive success...

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Recent headlines were awash in news that China’s population is shrinking.  You might have asked “why should I care?” This podcast explains why trends, like demographic changes, have an impact on EVERYONE. It’s not just big business affected by demographic shifts, it’s all business.  Years of using Chinese laborers at low wages to make products for US and European citizens is going to change, as the number of workers shrinks and wag...

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ChatGPT has received a lot of news lately – and for good reason.  Ask this software robot a question and it can deliver eloquent answers often at the level of graduate school grammar.  Artificial Intelligence (or Augmented Intelligence if you prefer) is going mainstream.  College students are using it to do their homework, and people are faking expertise they do not have by leaning on ChatGPT (and other) AI.

Amidst the bemoaning of ...

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