Weak signals


There’s some disagreement about what the term ‘weak signal’ represents in terms of emerging trends or scenario thinking, but I like to think of them as hidden or ambiguous signals of change. In my view weak signals generally represent a change of direction for existing attitudes or behaviour, but they can also represent early indications of totally new ideas or events.

The image above is silly but significant. To many people coins are a pain in the pocket. They are heavy and dirty and somewhat outdated in the digital age. There was even a report a while back that in the US it now costs more than one cent to make one cent due to the cost of the metal. I suspect small coins will be more or less dead in many parts of the world within ten years. Larger coins within twenty. However, I suspect that paper notes will endure far longer, partly for the same reasons that paper newspapers, paper books and paper itself have lasted so long.

2 thoughts on “Weak signals

  1. When you were a child, you had very few coins. You knew that they were hard to come by. And when you spent them, you examined each one as you doled it out to pay for the penny candy. You even had a hard choice in selecting which piece of candy you wanted.
    :: When you are now an adult, you find change weighing in your pocket. But you still chose to offer paper money when paying for the price of a purchase.. even saying “Keep the change, when offering a small tip.” :: Coins will always be around. They carry the memories of a lessor time when we scrounged to find the right one to make the right amount of change. It is our security blanket. We feel we won’t go broke; we won’t be down to our last cent. We may even look to see the date on it to think, “how old is this coin?” We think and smile to ourselves, “I’m older than this coin,” and try to keep it just to have it longer. Never to go broke.

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