Flash Foresight by Daniel Burrus

In his latest book, Flash Foresight, Burrus defines the essence of his book’s title, as a “sudden burst of insight about the future that produces a new and radically different way of doing something that will open up invisible opportunities and solve seemingly impossible problems before they happen.”

His client list includes Microsoft to American Express and IBM to Disney. While his clientele is very different than the independent trader, many of his concepts and ideas are well suited to traders and their thinking processes.

His first book, Technotrends, written in 1993, revealed and discussed 24 breakthrough technologies that he believed would revolutionize the way people interacted with technology. I read it years ago and recall liking it because it truly challenged me to think about how technology would have changed the way we dealt with information in our previous business.

In his latest book, Flash Foresight, defined by Burrus as a “sudden burst of insight about the future that produces a new and radically different way of doing something that will open up invisible opportunities and solve seemingly impossible problems before they happen.”

Two examples of ‘seeing what was currently invisible and making it visible’ are Inattentional Blindness and Stereograms. Why? Because the right software, for example, helps you see more in the same data that everyone else sees. And, by seeing, you are able to increase your interpretation skills, prioritize the most relevant and important information and, in turn, make higher probability, informed trading decisions.

Going further, based on the speed of how fast things happen and change, Burrus stresses that flash foresight is essential — not elective — like in the past when the pace of change was more gradual. He further states that this accelerated pace of change requires us to take thinking to whole new level and challenge not only what we think but how we think.

For example, Chapter 5: Go Opposite, offers ideas on how to think differently about both the status quo and conventional wisdom. He uses the example of a public school that needed money and by thinking differently leased unused computer time on their servers to businesses and generated a six figure annual income for the school. Question: What kinds of results could you achieve if you just thought differently about your methodology, your displays, the contracts you trade, the way you prepare for a session, or the process you use for both learning more and practicing?

Other chapters I believe you will find beneficial in learning to think differently are:

Chapter 1: Start with Certainty,
Chapter 4: Take Your Biggest Problem and Skip It, and
Chapter 6: Refine and Reinvent.

The concepts discussed in these chapters as well as others use companies like Zappos, Amazon, Dell, and Southwest Airlines to illustrate the points being made. Irrespective of the examples used, the value of this book, in my opinion, rests in the fact it stimulates thought if the reader will invest some time and energy in understanding the concepts.

One last point, I suggest you look at this book as a very unique ‘thought stimulator’—not a series of answers to going forward or becoming more successful as a trader.

Until next time . . .