The 2010s has been an eventful decade for influencers, craft brewers and vape shop owners – and a disappointing one for retail assistants, journalists and black cab-drivers. At the beginning of the decade, everyone hated the bankers and exalted the tech barons; as it draws to its close, everyone hates the tech barons and ignores the bankers. But amid all the uncertainty, one ancient profession has flourished: the fortune-teller.
Naturally, modern fortune-tellers don’t call themselves fortune-tellers – they prefer “trend forecaster” or “futurologist” or – sorry – “lifestyle detective”. They usually do without the animal entrails and star charts, preferring to read the runes from makeup trends in Seoul, tech start-ups in Palo Alto and genetic experiments in Shenzhen. And they have made themselves as indispensable to 21st-century product designers and brand managers as astrologers once were to generals and kings.