Complex systems are built up by connecting diverse agents with interdependent relationships that change over time.
What all of the surveys, opinion polls, and other marketing data doesn’t tell us is the complex web of interactions that lead to a sale, or an individual forming an opinion. That’s the mistake – data from opinion polls measures current opinion when you need tomorrow’s concept. When you try to cross-correlate it, you are only looking at the output of multiple systems and mashing them together and expecting something meaningful. The key is to go back to the inputs, then move forward tracking the finite states of each agent inside of the system.
To put it another way, is a soccer mom going to buy an energy efficient car to save the environment, or a larger car that is obviously safer? Does anyone think that the majority of people, particularly women as they make the most purchase decisions now, would choose a car that obviously isn’t as safe for themselves and their family, including the children who ride along, just for the sake of an abstract concept of helping the environment? This is basic stuff from Drew Whitman’s Life Force 8. If you wish to map the future you have to move beyond the numbers into higher levels of abstraction while keeping in mind the nature of the agents and the connections between them. Add the finite effects of tools and resources on an agent’s environment and you have an idea of what could happen. And you don’t even need a computer to crunch the numbers.
The real fun begins when you can alter the simplest inputs of the agents.
SUV sales have actually been growing in recent months, according to CNNMoney, from about one in five vehicles sold back in the 1990s and early 2000s, to almost a third of all vehicles sold today.
The vast majority of SUVs sold today are actually smaller, more diminutive versions of their ancestors, and have fuel economy that’s as good or better than many passenger cars on the road. For instance, the Chevrolet Equinox gets better combined city and highway mileage than some models of the Honda Accord.
Their economic power is truly revolutionary, representing the largest market opportunity in the world. Just look at the numbers: Women control 65 percent of global spending and more than 80 percent of U.S. spending. By 2014, the World Bank predicts that the global income of women will grow by more than $5 trillion. In both emerging markets and developed nations, women’s power of influence extends well beyond the traditional roles of family and education to government, business, and the environment.