It’s no secret that technology changes fast.
According to recent data from Deloitte, the average lifespan of emerging tech is just 2.5 years. That often means if you want to stay relevant, you have to always be thinking ahead: What’s next?
There are countless podcasts, newsletters, and more that you could read. But what is going to actually help you, and how do you tune out the rest of the noise?
In this article, leaders from the Powderkeg community and wider startup scene share their best strategies to stay up-to-date with industry trends while working at a startup.
1. Read, Listen, and Engage With Your Industry’s Thought Leaders
“I’m biased, of course, but you’ve absolutely got to consume content from your industry thought leaders. Read the articles. Engage on LinkedIn, listen to the podcasts, watch the interviews. It’s the fastest way to understand the broader conversation that is happening in your industry, which is not only helpful in your current role, but also as you grow and look to advance your career.”
2. Participate in Industry Conferences and Events
”Participating in industry conferences and events plays a pivotal role in staying well-informed while working in a fast-growing technology company. These gatherings serve as hotspots for the latest trends, innovations, and developments in the tech world.
By actively engaging in conferences, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge shared by industry experts, which helps you stay ahead of the curve in your field.”
”I usually attend three to four conferences a year. While networking with potential customers and partners is always priority number one, I appreciate the educational material to keep me up to date.
Most conferences are a two to four-day power-through of the most relevant conversations in our industries, whether the topics are SaaS or laboratory technology. It’s a great way to force new learning as a part of the otherwise very fun conference environment.”
3. Engage in Cross-Industry Zoom Calls
”Having two to three Zoom calls per month with business owners from entirely different industries has proven to be immensely valuable. Engaging with hotel proprietors, RV campground software developers, and more, provides fresh perspectives.
The bigger the difference between your businesses, the better. Strategies that work for them are absorbed and considered for implementation in similar tactics in my domain. It is beneficial to stay in the loop and to notice broader business trends faster.”
4. Set Up Google Alerts for Updates
”I’d say the most efficient way is to set up Google alerts to get notified when specific keywords are found on the Google search engine. It’s saved me a lot of time, incessantly searching for updates in my niche.
Now, I simply get them delivered to my phone and set aside time to check in on them every day. As for why it’s so important, I think having your finger on the pulse is the only way you can identify new opportunities so you can make your next move.”
5. Establish a System and Routine
”Keeping up with trends is made much easier if you set up systems that deliver content straight to you. Whether that means signing up for email newsletters, following industry leaders on social media, or downloading a tech news app and keeping notifications on, let them tell you when there’s something to see or read!
It’s hard to end a long workday by scouring the internet to learn more, so keep it easy and set up systems that work for you.”
6. Host Regular Meetups With Industry Colleagues
”One way to stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments while working at a fast-growing technology company is to set up periodic meetings with coworkers, professionals from other departments, and industry colleagues to discuss technology on the job.
This allows for knowledge sharing, brainstorming, and gaining insights into the latest advancements. Staying current with industry trends is crucial for career growth because it helps you remain competitive in today’s job market.”
7. Follow Social Media for New Trends
”Social media can be a fruitful way to stay up-to-date with industry trends when used properly. Follow thought leaders in the tech industry and use their posts to stay abreast of new developments.
Join related groups and forums, and use hashtags to find what people are talking about in the industry. This is important for career growth because it prompts you to learn new things constantly while also positioning yourself as an insightful professional.”
8. Apply What You Learn: Develop and Test New Ideas
”Keeping tabs on the latest and greatest changes in a fast-moving industry is half the battle towards being more effective in your role. By expanding your horizons and seeing how others talk about the changes in the industry, you can develop better ideas to share and implement at your own company. This will almost always speed up your career growth.”
In the startup world, staying on top of the trends can be your competitive advantage. Just do what works best for you—whether that is reading articles, listening to podcasts, attending events, or another way to stay up-to-date. If you embrace the challenge, there is no telling what opportunities lie ahead.
Ready to explore some of the fastest-growing tech startups? Look for companies in hot industries with room to grow. Take the time to research each company by reviewing their website, product reviews, and online profiles.
You can browse all of Powderkeg’s Best Tech Companies to Work for, follow them for insights, or request an introduction to plug into your next big opportunity.