What do you see in the image below?
What if I mentioned the word “cowboy”? If you got it, great. If not, you’re not alone (you can see what the image looks like below).
Luc de Brabandere uses the image to talk about the ability to see new markets and he makes a very good point. Those that see these opportunities will profit. Those that don’t will lose opportunities, and usually by the time they realize they missed something they are too far behind.
Part of seeing new markets is about being able to move between focal points. On one extreme, you need to take in all of the information you can. On the other, you need to focus on subsets in order to group things into logical patterns. It’s the ease of shifting perception that makes seeing patterns possible.
The great news is that it is a great time to be interested in everything.
While the typical mantra is to stay focused on one area, there is growing evidence that to really understand where things are going and to be ahead of the opportunities, you really need to dig into other fields. And while we will always be limited by a type of bounded rationality regardless of how much we know, the wider our mental net, the more possibility for catching some interesting patterns.
So, go on, let your inner ADD flag fly!