Entrepreneurs Don't Follow Trends -- They Create Them.

Entrepreneurs Don't Follow Trends -- They Create Them.
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This story appears in the December 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work. —Plato

There are people and there are trends. Behind both? Thought. And the reinvention of thought. Trends and people can never be separated. The people part represents the soul -- the heartbeat.

What are trends? That’s the thing: They are created by humans rethinking the known ways of doing things. People are the force behind new ideas.

And one thing we’ve learned here is that behind invention is humanity. There’s math and there’s something more: people and thought and passion -- and the fire in the belly that lights the two.

Yes, we have trends and the things that will define our future economy, but almost always, without fail, people define the trends. And the trends define the future. You, as entrepreneurs, are the future. The two are inextricably connected. Trends without the intellect are just numbers.

When Edison created the first commercially viable light bulb, it was unheard of. It was unexpected and very much a new way of thinking. It was novel. And so, too, are the stories of Jack Dorsey, Kathleen Kennedy, Satya Nadella, Ellen Pao, Richard Plepler, Meg Whitman and, yes, Taylor Swift. They are the intellectual capital who will define future opportunities.

And there are surfers. Surfers who, well, surf -- and make fashionable hoodies. And do so with aplomb.

Putting a surfer on our cover was not an easy choice. Because since when do surfers embody the spirit of entrepreneurship? Since they started making clothes, and realizing new ways of experiencing life. Just like Kelly Slater, whose company represents one of our trends of 2016 -- apparel brands making sustainable fashion.

This issue celebrates both people and trends -- and the opportunities they create. We love looking at the choreography of new ways of thinking, but also at the unexplained magic of the intellect behind it.

We’ve never had a surfer on the cover before, but we’re proud we do this month because he captures the spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship. Just like you.