I spent the last few days in Hong Kong at a conference discussing the smartphone industry. The participants were mainly investors or investment managers. One of the most frequently asked questions was how to spot investable trends in this notoriously unpredictable sector.
The data I presented did not offer much of an answer. If anything, it showed just how much the industry has changed and how unlikely it is to remain a facsimile of what it is today.
But theory allows us to still make some bold claims. Grounding your investment thesis in pattern recognition rather than extrapolation should be the better strategy. So here are the telltale signs I recommend watching for investable ideas.