After leaving school to work on a startup and launching the Wikipedia competitor platform, Everipedia, the questions I always get asked are, "how do you figure out if a business venture is worth it?" and "how do you know which industries show future growth?" These questions do not have scientific answers and come with differing opinions from all of the best minds in Silicon Valley. I typically answer "look to what you can do better than anyone else and do that." Since life does not reward second and third best or even care about how well you do something, as long as you're the best. That being said, certain markets and businesses obviously hold better reserves of gold than others, so being a good prospector in finding these veins of treasure is an important skill to pick up.
Understanding where value comes from is the first big step towards understanding emerging trends. Why do diamonds and gold attract price points in the thousands of dollars? Why is Facebook the number one platform and how does Solo Cup attract such a loyal fanbase even though it has little to no intellectual property? Ultimately, depending on the specific product and consumption patterns each industry operates drastically differently, the general detection pattern for any good trend, is movement in value. Social media emerged as a means of categorizing friends and real life networks and since Facebook took the best execution strategy at the best point in time, they were able to succeed. Solo Cup understood the value of cheap and disposable party wares and built a brand that holds up their sales. While both ventures have different business structures, they both understand an innate truth in society and added value to their respective subsections.
One of the most booming industries around now is the cannabis market. With 26 states selling some form of legal marijuana and another 9 voting on further legalization efforts in November, including opening California up to recreational marijuana, the nation is at an inflection point where the cannabis market is just about to explode. Seeing this trend, the success of marijuana companies currently, and other major socialization efforts of cannabis with the mainstream public, it is abundantly obvious that society is desiring cannabis products more and more. This is a clear instance of future value addition and anyone who can corner some section of the market is set to strike their own fortune.
After speaking with one of my friends, Austin Chase about the explosive nature of the industry and his specific company, Tiggie Tubes, I have grown even more confident with the opportunities lying within cannabis. Tiggie Tubes just launched in September 2016 and is the Herbal Solo Cup, a disposable cannabis container with built-in grinder. Chase has seen a trend of marijuana being treated more and more like alcohol especially around college campuses, and noticed the lack of a disposable grinder. Tiggie Tubes is structured to replace packaging options for dispensaries and continue to make cannabis more consumer friendly.