Watts Wacker

The Deviant's Advantage
  • The Deviant's Advantage

  • In The Deviant's Advantage, Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker demonstrate how ideas create increasingly profitable markets as they move from The Fringe, to the Edge, to the Realm of the Cool, to the Next Big Thing, to Social Convention. The book tracks the products and people haunting the fringes of sex, science, art, language, faith, war and marketing, branding and macro-economics. Tomorrow's commercial success is an obsession in the mind of today's deviant. Las Vegas is a perfect example: it morphed from a bus stop in the desert to a neon 'Sin City' and finally into a family vacation destination. In 1945 a handsome, murderous sociopath called Benny 'Bugsy' Siegel decided to build a luxury gambling oasis in the desert. At the time, Las Vegas was a crossroads in the middle of the desert. Siegel understood the emerging desire for escape in the American psyche - and out of nothing, created what became an enormous gambling haven. Las Vegas has now transformed itself into a gigantic family-oriented theme park, albeit one with slots and roulette wheels. It's become a holiday destination for the entire family, not just a place that fathers sneak off to. Las Vegas moved from the Fringe (Bugsy's original vision), to the Edge (the first hotel), to the Realm of the Cool (where everyone wanted to go), to the Next Big Thing (where everyone went), to Social Convention.

Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker are futurists and principles of FirstMatter, a trend-watching consulting firm. The co-author of the bestselling The Myth of Excellence, Mathews has been profiled in Fast Company and Wired. Watts Wacker has been profiled in Fast Company and Forbes, and was called "one of the 50 smartest people in the business world" by The Financial Times. He is the co-author of The 500-Year Delta and The Visionary's Handbook.