February 19, 2014: Upgradia

Starting decades ago, older generations pointed to the nation’s baby boomers and called us (yes, I’m one) a spoiled generation constantly demanding instant gratification. Perhaps we were just ahead of our time, since this month’s edition of Trendwatching.com’s Trend Briefing says we’re all now living in the era of “Upgradia.”

Upgradia is when “the old model of physical consumption–purchase, use, declare obsolete, discard–is being overturned by a new model: one founded on constant improvement, upgrade and iteration.” Consumers’ desire to always have the newest and best, says Trendwatching, is key for innovators and marketers, and of course for entrepreneurs.

The Trend Briefing reports the demand for Upgradia is driven by “two deep consumer desires: [we want] more for less money and more for less guilt.” When you think about it, this craving is not really new and has long permeated our lives. The whole diet beverage and food industry is driven by the wish to have our cake and eat it too, but without the accompanying calories (or guilt).

I don’t think Upgradia is a passing trend. After all, it’s human nature to want the newest and the best. So it’s our jobs as entrepreneurs to figure out how to adapt our businesses to cater to this basic desire.

Look at what you do today and think about how you can create an updated version. For some businesses and some entrepreneurs, upgrading will come naturally. For others, you may have to stretch out of your comfort zone. But isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about?