How Americans Spend Their Day

5 August 09


The Times recently posted an interactive graph illustrating how different groups of people spend their day.  It’s fascinating to toggle through the various sorts to see how different segments of the population spend their time at various hours.  For instance, those with only a High School education seem to have work schedules that last throughout the night, whereas at 3am, nobody with an advanced degree is at work.

The activity I was most interested in viewing across segments was the baby blue section toward the bottom: Relaxing and Thinking.  Theoretically, this pocket of time is where the most innovative ideas could be spawned.  However, on average, only 1% of those employed engage in this activity throughout the day, versus 4% of those who are not in the labor force.

Obviously, there are numerous implications for these data.  Identifying opportunities in the market based on various daily behaviors.  If you’re targeting a specific segment of the population, it’s helpful to know how they spend their time and what, on average, they’re doing at a particular time during the day.  In a simplistic example, the combination of certain activities — for instance, household cleaning and TV &  Movies — could offer insights into when commercials for a Swiffer Duster should air.


10 Ideas that Are Changing the World

24 April 08

futurethink Time 10 Ideas

In the April issue of futurethinking, our recently-redesigned monthly e-Newsletter, we included a link to a recent TIME Magazine article entitled 10 Ideas that Are Changing the World. Of all the other links and articles in the newsletter, this was, by a wide margin, the most popular (based on the number of clicks it received). The article – TIME’s cover story just a few weeks ago – is certainly a great one; but we got to wondering why it was so overwhelmingly favored when there were three other equally thought-provoking resources right next to it. Read the rest of this entry »