Over 1 million professionals have read, shared, or experienced Non-Obvious through keynotes, books, signature events, but it all started (as the best ideas often do) with frustration.

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In this case, it was frustration with the lazy, obvious, and useless trend predictions that happen at the end of every year.

Inspired to do better, our founder Rohit Bhargava decided to publish the first Non-Obvious Trends Report in January 2011. His goal was to share some unique insights about business for the coming year.

It was an unexpected hit.

In less than a week, more than two hundred thousand people read and shared that first report.

Inspired by that early success, Rohit turned the research into a yearly tradition. Within two years, he had added a growing team, and the research had become an annual book series, with the first hardcover edition hitting the Wall Street Journal bestseller list in 2015.

Non-Obvious 2012, Non-Obvious 2013, and Non-Obvious 2014
Non-Obvious by Rohit Bhargava

These annual editions featured new trend research and helped dozens of the largest and most respected brands in the world use these trends (and the process behind curating them) to win the future in their industries.

The success of the 2015 edition inspired Rohit to create the Non-Obvious Company, a consultancy dedicated to helping people become more innovative and creative through the principles of non-obvious thinking.

The consulting group quickly received inquiries from dozens of the largest and most respected brands in the world who wanted to take these trends (and the process behind curating them) and use them to prepare for winning the future in their industries.

Non-Obvious 2016, Non-Obvious 2017, Non-Obvious 2018, and Non-Obvious 2019

WE GOT REALLY BIG, REALLY FAST...

(almost too fast)

As the Non-Obvious Trends Series became more popular, so did the Non-Obvious thinking behind the trends. We even started a book awards program to spotlight the best books published every year that could help make people smarter, better leaders.

Our content was resonating.

The Non-Obvious Book Awards
Rohit Bhargava from the Non-Obvious Company speaking on stage

Demand for keynotes, signature workshops, and talks soon became too much for one person to handle, especially if that one person had big ideas for helping the world think differently.

Rohit added several more pioneering thinkers and expanded the brand to include other initiatives such as training programs, corporate workshops, and even more thought leadership.

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But to fulfill our mission, we had to make an unusual choice (some might call it...)

The Non-Obvious Choice

We chose to move away from consulting (yes, we know it pays well). Rather than build just another strategy firm that delivered advice at high hourly rates, we wanted to make the benefits of Non-Obvious thinking available to business owners of all sizes.

So we shifted to channels that would inspire a greater number of people to be more open-minded, curious, and innovative.

Growing Beyond the Trends

In 2019, we decided it was time to expand beyond the heritage of the trend work and the annual book, so we announced that we would publish our last Non-Obvious trends book, Non-Obvious Megatrends, in 2020.

At the same time, we launched several new initiatives, including the Non-Obvious Guide Series and an expanded Non-Obvious Book Awards program, and officially trademarked the brand Non-Obvious.

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Non-Obvious Megatrends

2020 Started Out Great...

We launched Non-Obvious Megatrends in January 2020. It immediately hit #1 on the Wall Street Journal list and made the USA TODAY bestseller list. The book also won industry awards (over 20 and counting!). At the same time, the Guide series was winning international book awards and recognition as we expanded beyond the trend series.

We were organizing large events, and Rohit was invited back to the big stage at SXSW in March 2020 after a memorable 2019 session where he unexpectedly took the stage right after Elon Musk. By early March, his session was trending as the #1 most anticipated talk at SXSW 2020.

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Then Everything Changed

(thanks, pandemic.)

The world went into lockdown, SXSW was canceled, and our book launch plans for both Non-Obvious Megatrends and the Guide Series were kaput.

All the momentum stopped.

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So we had to be a little non-obvious ourselves. We decided to refocus on publications and virtual shows and keep moving forward.

In 2020, We:

  • Published four new business guides, including The Non-Obvious Guide to Virtual Presentations and Working Remotely
  • Launched the Non-Obvious Insights Show on YouTube Live
  • Hosted two virtual summits on marketing and diversity
  • Delivered dozens of virtual keynotes
  • Participated in more than a hundred virtual events of all types
  • And started work on several other initiatives

In 2021, we focused on diversity.

Based on the success of our virtual summit, our founder Rohit partnered with DEI expert Jennifer Brown and brought together six more contributors to write Beyond Diversity - a book focused on helping imagine a more inclusive world. The book was honored with nearly a dozen book awards and has been used by Universities across the country as an approachable introduction to diversity and inclusion training.

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The Latest Buzz...

Imagining The Future Normal.

In early 2023, Rohit partnered with renowned British Futurist Henry Coutinho-Mason to co-author The Future Normal. The book features 30 trends shaping the future of humanity and was launched from the stage to a packed room at SXSW 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Rohit and Henry are currently speaking at events across the globe and leading workshops for corporations across more than a dozen industries on how to anticipate and imagine the future. 

The INC Non-Obvious Business Book Awards.

Near the end of 2023, we announced a big new partnership with INC Magazine where Rohit will be publishing a monthly column called the Non-Obvious Book Review and we will be co-branding our annual book awards program. Through this collaboration, we will be able to spotlight more of the world's best thinking to an even wider audience!

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The Non-Obvious Show Podcast.

From the stage at SXSW Sydney, Rohit announced his newest effort - the Non-Obvious Show Podcast. It will be a collection of some of the most fascinating experts across the globe talking about the future of unexpected topics.

For us, Non-Obvious thinking has always meant having the confidence to be adaptable without panicking and to chart a new course even when the future seems uncertain.

So as we look to the future, we have big plans.

We will expand our guide series, continue sharing online insights, invest more time and resources into building a more inclusive world, and help even more leaders use non-obvious thinking so they can see what others miss and lead the future.

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We believe the future of business requires more open-minded leadership, a greater willingness to look outside your own industry, the ability to curate ideas, and of course … more non-obvious thinking!

We would love to help you prepare for the future and create a world with more non-obvious thinkers.

Let's talk about how we can help!

Our mission is to help leaders, organizations, and curious minds develop the habits that equip them to see what others miss and win the future. We do this through our newsletter, published books, popular keynotes, custom workshops, annual book awards, videos, podcast, and more.

Organizations We Have Helped...

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