John Vanston, Author, Minitrends


Chairman, Technology Futures, Inc.

Award-Winning Author of MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends

Focus Areas: Minitrends and Technology Forecasting and Management


Minitrends: Profiting from Business Opportunity Gems Book CoverDr. John H. Vanston, Ph.D., Chairman, Technology Futures, Inc. (TFI), is an internationally renowned consultant, educator, speaker, and author in the fields of trend analysis, technology forecasting, technology/market integration, and technology management in uncertain environments. His MiniTrends concept, designed to increase creativity, innovation, and success, is summarized in MINITRENDS: How Entrepreneurs & Innovators Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends, written in collaboration with Carrie Vanston. The book has received several Best Business Book awards, as well as  excellent reviews and endorsements from the media and industry leaders. Dr. Vanston also Chairs TFI's popular MiniTrends Conference.

Dr. Vanston founded TFI in 1978, building the Austin, Texas-based company into a leading authority in custom research, forecasting, and emerging trend analysis . He has worked with a wide range of organizations including Chevron Chemical, Kodak, Boeing, Nortel, National Security Agency, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Texas State Technical College System and many more.

Dr. John Vanston speaking about MinitrendsDr. Vanston has given presentations, workshops, and seminars to organizations all over the world including the World Future Society, the Industrial Research Institute, the Association of Strategic Planners, the University of Houston Futures Studies Program, the Society of Association Executives, and many more.

Dr. Vanston’s Minitrends presentations and workshops provide  individuals and businesses of all sizes a way to find and profit from emerging trends–Minitrends–that will become significantly important in 2-5 years, but that are not yet widely recognized or appreciated. The presentations encourage the adoption of a mindset that opens our imagination, creativity, and curiosity in order to make the most of our circumstances and distinguish ourselves from others.

Dr. Vanston's Technology Forecasting presentation and workshops provide audiences with an understanding of the technology development process, teaches participants to conduct valid technology/market forecasts, and shows how to utilize these forecasts to to identify and evaluate emerging market needs and improve organizational planning.

Full Bio

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Sampling of Topics

MINITRENDS: How to Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends

In this presentation, Dr. John Vanston introduces a new concept—Minitrends—that offers very attractive possibilities to individuals and businesses that learn its principles and apply those principles in a practical business environment. This concept provides a new approach for finding and taking advantage of emerging trends that will become significant in 2-5 years, but are not yet widely recognized or appreciated.
  • Individual entrepreneurs will learn how to identify, assess, and exploit new business opportunities.
  • Decision makers in small and mid-size businesses will learn how to gain advantage by recognizing and utilizing emerging trends.
  • Innovative thinkers in large businesses will learn how to distinguish themselves by their special perceptiveness.
  • Investors will learn how to uncover attractive new investment opportunities.
The presentation is based on John’s 30+ years of experience in identifying and applying technical, social, and business trends and his new book MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends authored by Dr. Vanston with his daughter Carrie Vanston.

Initiating a Minitrend Exploitation Program

There is much discussion in the business world today of Megatrends, i.e, very large-sale trends define the nature of our society. However, recognizing these Megatrends provides little guidance to businesses about specific strategies. Minitrends — trends that promise to be of significant importance within two to five years, but are not generally recognized or appreciated by the public or most businesses — on the other hand, are of a scope and importance to provide attractive business opportunities.

Although most businesses try to stay alert to trends that might impact their markets, financial status, and operations, few have specific programs to identify, assess, and exploit such trends. Given the complexity, uncertainty, and rapid change in the New World business environment, including a formal Minitrend Exploitation Program in the strategic planning process will provide companies with important competitive advantages. In this presentation Dr. Vanston demonstrates the basic principles involved in initiating and conducting a Minitrend Exploitation Program and presents examples of how such programs have been successfully employed.

The presentation is based on John’s 30 years of conducting analyses of emerging technologies for a wide range of commercial, government, and academic organizations and his book MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends authored by Dr. Vanston with his daughter Carrie Vanston.

The Five Views of the Future™

Dr. Vanston provides an overview of the philosophy and methods behind Technology Futures' Five Views of the Future™ Strategic Framework for planning and forecasting. This framework allows the consideration of both tangibles and intangibles, and has resulted in accurate forecasts by Technology Futures over 30 years in fields such as communications, information technology, and consumer electronics. Representative quantitative and qualitative tools are reviewed, with emphasis on practical understanding and practical examples, rather than on theory. Strategic and planning implications of forecasting models are also stressed.

The presentation is based on Dr. Vanston's long career promoting and targeting innovation activities in a wide variety of organizations and his development of TFI’s popular technology forecasting framework Five Views of the Future™.

The Future as a Strategic Asset

Experience has shown that strategies based on credible projections of future market opportunities, social trends, the competitive environment, and new technologies are superior to those based on guesses, hunches, or vague suppositions. The ability to make sound projections in each of these areas can provide your organization with a major strategic advantage over less adept competitors. Dr. Vanston demonstrates in this presentation how you can use a mixture of practical, proven forecasting techniques to develop a valid, comprehensive picture of the business environment in which your strategy will be tested.

Dr. Vanston can tailor these and similar Minitrends and Forecasting presentations, seminars, and workshops to individual audiences.

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What Audiences Say

"Excellent presentation, well thought out and I hope highly motivating.”
—Minitrends Presentation, World Future Society

"On behalf of all of us, thank you for a wonderful evening last night in Los Angeles. The large and enthusiastic crowd was totally involved in your cogent and concise treatise. We appreciate your taking the time and effort to share your time and perspective.
—Technology Forecasting Presentation, Association for Strategic Planning

"Your presentation was outstanding! The time and effort involved in preparation, and your willingness to share so many valuable insights were greatly appreciated. On behalf of the program committee and everyone who was with us, I want to thank you for helping to make the meeting a tremendous success! We hope to have you with us again at a future meeting."
—Five Views of the Future™ Presentation, Industrial Research Institute, Inc.

"You have educated the members of this group about a subject we need to know more about and we are grateful for your time and expertise. A larger percent of Wednesday's audience came up to me and thanked me for getting you as the speaker than has occurred at any previous meeting."
—Nuclear Weapons Presentation, Foreign Service Group

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Speaker Contact

For more information on Dr. Vanston's speaking services, please contact Carrie Vanston at (800) TEK-FUTR, (512) 258-8898,, or fill out contact TFI. We appreciate your interest and welcome your inquiries.

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The Pinnacle Book Achievement Best Business Book Winner

An Eric Hoffer Business Book of the Year Winner

ForeWord Reviews’ Book of Year Finalist

USA Book News Book of the Year Finalist

Dan Poynter’s Global Business eBook of the Year Finalist