Sharing what we on the horizon from our unique perspectives helps build a clearer picture of what's to come.
Published July 6, 2022
Hard Trends vs. Soft Trends
One of my favorite business thinkers is Daniel Burrus. He’s sometimes cast as a futurist, and while that’s true, what he’s really about is anticipating change. If that isn’t central to how we all think about our businesses, I don’t know what is. His work revolves around the idea of “hard” and “soft” trends. Hard trends are absolutes. Think big demographic trends that won’t change in a hurry. Soft trends can and likely will change. Interest rates are a good example. We all anticipated change there, and it happened and it will change again with certainty.
Trends Affecting Colorado
Developable land along Front Range Colorado is a hard trend because there will be less of it over time. Many people felt that migration to Colorado was also a hard trend. It turns out they were wrong. For a variety of reasons, Colorado has begun losing its population. That could shift again quickly making it a soft trend. Rising labor costs have been a soft trend for a couple of years, but we can already see some shifts. Supply chain issues are phenomenally volatile, thus, also soft trends.
Putting the Pieces Together
We’re all trying to build a better crystal ball. Anticipating changes through the lenses of hard and soft trends seems obvious, but it’s trickier than it looks on the surface. We are all affected by these trends differently. For EnergyLogic, labor costs are primary, and they’ve risen meaningfully over the past two years. For our builder and trade partners, the drivers are more supply chain and finance related. We can, however, help each other by continually sharing information about what we see. That helps us all build at least a bit less murky crystal ball.