Hipster Foresight

Curiosity leads to finding new interests. Following your interests makes you interesting. At the same time, doing things out of the ordinary makes you a hipster.

Hipster is a loaded word. However, some qualities of hipsters that come to mind are authenticity, open-mindedness, daringness, and addiction to newness —constantly trying out new things.

Hipster foresight is the abbreviation of the concept that hipsters have a remarkable ability to foresee trends or create them. The key insight is focusing on your genuine interests rather than guessing what people will like.

Jorge Garcia, my friend, coined the term hipster foresight. He explained the concept with his interests in college that have become mainstream later, including meditation, new urbanism, nootropics, crypto, fasting, longboards for micro-mobility, and many more.

Hipster influencers are not only good at judging trends; they kick-start them. They are trendsetters. Tim Ferriss is the leader and embodies the hipster influencer movement. He has summoned an army of hipster influencers with his podcast and books. Tim has influenced me deeply since 2010. Actually, Jorge introduced me to his work. Tim helped me discover interests which helped me refine my judgment on trends.

We have seen our interests become widespread before. For example, in 2012, after coming back from college, one of our favorite trips was to go to the only place that sold craft beer and do a beer tasting with ceviche and yukitas picantitas.

We were very interested in craft beer. Therefore we got together with a group of friends, started brewcrewpanama to brew craft beer in my home. I had to smuggle the grains through the airport to brew the beer —it was a hassle. We ended up brewing about 600 beers for two years. I even pondered starting a brewing company, but I expended my energy starting Porta Norte.

Today you can find craft beer in every restaurant and supermarket. By the way, the same thing will happen with olive oil. I am addicted to it. Therefore, high-quality olive oil, not sold in Panama, will become mainstream.

One recent example of Jorge’s hipster interests is men’s clothing with patterns like those found in women’s clothing. Why? A couple of years ago, he received a beautiful guayabera with colorful mola art as a gift. He loved it and wanted more shirts like them. In addition, he gathered feedback from other people with artful shirts. As a result, he can extrapolate his taste to the rest of society and project probable scenarios. Thus concluding more men will use shirts with art and color.

Sometimes your interests don’t get widely accepted. Maybe it is too niche —for now. But remember, the more interests you explore, the better refined your visioning skills are.

Nowadays, I am interested in nomad capitalism, being a sovereign individual, mountain bikes, solarpunk visions, decentralized autonomous organizations, and progressive technological communities. Let’s see how these play out in the long run.

The biggest hipster foresight I am betting on is walkability, active lifestyle, and lively public spaces –basically, human-centered design.

I ask almost everybody who comes back from Spain to Panama what they thought about Spain. The answer is always a version of how much they loved walkable streets.

I am incorporating in Porta Norte many interests such as trees, cycling lanes, plazas, amphitheaters, parks, hikes, mountain biking, trails, art, and more. I understand cities designed for people will have higher demand.

Traveling is one of the best ways to calibrate your hipster sensor. When traveling to hipster places, pay attention to people, extract their habits and tastes, and try them out. My calibration comes from traveling around the world and living during my college years in Austin, Texas, one epicenter of hipster culture.

Hipster foresight is a skill that probably peaks in your twenties. Afterward, as you acquire more responsibilities and lose free time, your skills dwindle —unless you fight it. Do so by daring to be different, traveling widely, and carving out space to try new things; it will enhance your worldly wisdom and investing capabilities.

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