The one-sentence summary

There may be a microtrend developing that represents an opportunity.


  • Subtitled Surprising tales of the way we live our lives today, this book looks at 75 groups who, by virtue of their daily decisions, are forging the shape of America and the world
  • What they have in common is that they are relatively unseen, either because their actual numbers are small or because conventional wisdom hides their potential in the shadows, sometimes even emphasizing the exact opposite
  • Among the groups he identifies are:
  • Couples that commute hundreds of miles every day or week as part of a ‘normal’ life – extreme commuters
  • Internet marrieds – the large number of couples who met online
  • Ardent amazons – taller women who can handle jobs just as easily as men
  • Southpaws unbound – the increasing number of left-handers now that it is no longer such a taboo
  • Late-breaking gays – who marry women first and then change their mind
  • Mildly disordered teens – a huge percentage are on medication
  • Vegan children – and other highly demanding dietary requirements
  • Shy millionaires – those who have no splashy lifestyle but amass a lot of cash
  • Uptown tattooed – the huge increase in wealthy people having tattoos
  • Video game grown-ups – those who started playing and never stopped


  • The book is full of chances to learn something that would make good dinner table conversation
  • Strange factoids include:
    1. There are more Christian Zionists than Jewish ones
    2. One percent of young Californians want to grow up to be military snipers
    3. As a result of the crime crackdown, one of the fastest growing population segments is newly released ex-convicts
    4. Knitting is making a revival among young people
    5. Those who love technology are more outgoing than those who hate technology
  • In the brief concluding section there’s an effort to pull it all together: In a world with more choices, people will fragment in their selections (The Long Tail already told us this)


  • There’s not much analysis of products or positions that such groups might like