Robert D. Hof writes eloquently and intelligently about the Next Big Thing.
Three things of note: I was surprised that he discovered and identified the smart mob emergence as the only interesting development in the last few months. I agree — there was a small holy shit moment when I first read about smart mobs.
I was surprised he did not mention weblogs. Maybe this meme is old hat, but weblogs are the only thing on my radar which are currently shaking things up. Sure, no one hows to make new money on it. Sure, barriers to entry are amazingly low, but folks aren’t shutting up about it. Always a good sign.
Lastly, identification of the next Big thing is really really hard. Folks who are avidly looking for it are, unfortunately, intensely biased by various forms greed and; therefore, apt to leap at something which only vaguely resembles innovation. VCs want the cash, A-list entrepreneurs want the return to glory, and everyone else is willing to jump when either party says, “This is it. Let’s do this thing.”
Take comfort in the fact that, you, nameless Joe or Joe-ette are the people who actually get to decide what the next Big Thing. It’s the collection of each of your personal holy shit moments that will actual drive what is successful or not successful.