Eric Ries, author of the Lessons Learned blog and founder of IMVU, recently wrote a post about his 10 year anniversary as an entrepreneur:
One thing really stands out to me today. I wasted a lot of energy, time, and passion on trend-spotting and trying to compare my success with others. Is it really worthwhile spending time and money trying to impress each other with our supposed successes, especially in a business where real feedback can take five or ten years? We go to mixers, buy fancy offices, focus on PR, and try to one-up each other. I think it’s wasteful. Instead, let’s focus on building companies that matter, on creating real value for customers, and learning. In time, success will come. And if it doesn’t, at least you’ll have spent your time doing something intrinsically worthwhile.
In the meantime, don’t worry if you can’t spot the trends.
I think Eric truly gets it right: be aware of changes in trends, but don’t get so busy watching them that you miss the chance to launch something extraordinary.