• June 2015

The Business of Fatherhood

Does being a dad make you a better entrepreneur? That’s one of the questions we tackle in the special Father’s Day issue of Be Inkandescent magazine.

For inspiration, we turn to our newest client, entrepreneur and futurist Michael Vidikan, who runs the Dallas-based futurist think tank www.FutureInFocus.com.

We celebrate the launch of his revamped website this month, which features more than 1,400 briefs on international, corporate, and consumer trends — including business, emerging, generational, and geographic reports.

In this issue, we share three articles on the topic of fatherhood based on Future in Focus briefs:


And in our Tips for Entrepreneurs this month, we share two more research studies:

Also in this issue, you’ll find:

  • Manly Books. In our Book of the Month column this month, you’ll find five tomes about fatherhood, parenting, and manhood — including insights into What Women Really Want in a Man.

  • Craft Beer. If you love great beer, you’ve probably tossed back a bottle or two of Stone Brewing Co.‘s IPA. The #10 largest craft brewery in the nation, Stone generates $185 million in annual sales and employs more than 900 people. Why did Stone decide to open its East Coast plant in Richmond? Don’t miss our interview with the COO and CFO.

Find more perspective on fatherhood in our new column, Inkandescent Quotes, including this one from Dan Pearce, author of the blog Single Dad Laughing: “Saturday mornings, I’ve learned, are a great opportunity for kids to sneak into your bed, fall back asleep, and kick you in the face.”

Cheers to Dads everywhere! — Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • Founder, Inkandescent PR

Glimpse the Future of Fatherhood

JUNE 2015: The Changing Face of Fatherhood

Insights from Entrepreneur of the Month Michael Vidikan
President, Future in Focus

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher
Be Inkandescent magazine

What will the next generation of stay-at-home dads look like? How will the Millennials parent differently than their parents and grandparents? And how will the new American grandparents behave?

Answers to those questions can be found on the information-packed website by futurist Michael Vidikan: FutureInFocus.com. A popular subscription-based strategic foresight and consulting firm, Vidikan helps companies see years or even decades into the future to make better long-term decisions today. In fact, there are more than 1,400 briefs that can be accessed when you subscribe.

Clients include ConAgra Foods, GM, The Hershey Company, Nissan, and more.

“I’ve worked with Future in Focus over the past few years, and the trend insights I’ve had access to have helped tremendously with forming our strategic plans,” says Ruth Waters, director of Consumer Insights, Commerical Foods, at ConAgra Foods.

Keiichi Kitahara, senior manager for Advanced Planning and Strategy at Nisssan North America, says, “The insights that Future in Focus provides to me and my team are invaluable. Future In Focus’ reports delve into areas of great interest to any company dealing with product development.”

Vidikan founded the firm in 2014, and this month, the team at InkandescentPR helped him launch his new monthly e-magazine, which will feature a different emerging business and consumer trend in each issue.

Vidikan continues the work previously done by Social Technologies, which was founded in 2000 by futurist Tom Conger. The company was sold in 2009 to Innovaro, a company focused on software and innovation solutions.

A graduate of the MBA program at The George Washington University, Vidikan earned his undergraduate degree in business and psychology.

When he’s not focusing on the future, you can find him experimenting in the kitchen, testing out the latest interactive gaming technologies, or volunteering in his community and raising money for Movember, a global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. Scroll down for our Q&A with Michael Vidikan.

And be sure to glimpse the future of fatherhood, as seen through three Future in Focus reports, excerpted in this issue of Be Inkandescent:

•  The Next Generation of Stay-at-Home Dads
•  Millennials and Parenting
•  The New American Grandparents


Be Inkandescent: What is the mission of Future in Focus?

Michael Vidikan: Our mission is to help companies and organizations become more informed about the future so they can make better long-term business decisions. The future is always murky, but that doesn’t mean it’s unknowable or that it’s not possible to plan for it. As the name of our company suggests, we want to put the future in focus and provide clarity and direction for organizations as they work to plan for what’s coming next.

Be Inkandescent: For those who don’t know, what does a futurist do?

Michael Vidikan: A futurist is someone who presents ideas about what the future might or might not look like. The job involves enormous amounts of reading and research. It’s a lot like doing a puzzle. If you put enough pieces together, you start to see the outline of an image. Good futurists tend to be good historians, because if you want to tell a story about the future, you need to understand how we got to the present. Furthermore, if you can see how quickly a technology is advancing, you can forecast approximately when it will become mainstream and how it will impact various industries. For example, let’s look at self-driving cars. The technology is still years away from mainstream use, and a lot of testing still needs to be done. Based on prototypes in existence today, and the rate at which they are progressing, we can imagine how self-driving cars would disrupt commuting and carpooling down the road. Likewise, if we can understand the psychological and sociological drivers behind emerging human behaviors, we might be able to see how particular demographics or generations make new demands on companies and governments.

Be Inkandescent: What types of trends do you track, and who are your ideal clients?

Michael Vidikan: Our coverage is mostly focused on trends that are consumer-centric and will impact the business community 2-10 years out. We cover a very broad spectrum of consumer and technology trends across many industries and geographies, from research about Millennials’ food preferences to the future of 3D printing in China.

Be Inkandescent: What are some of the trends you report on that surprise you the most?

Michael Vidikan: I’m probably most surprised by the advances in biotechnology. Every day there seems to be a new headline about a discovery that may cure diseases, extend our lives, make us healthier, and improve our performance. There’s a field of researchers who are trying to grow human organs for transplants and manufacture human blood for transfusions. Imagine the lives we could save when those technologies are available.

Be Inkandescent: How can more small businesses use the research you do at Future in Focus?

Michael Vidikan: Some can use the research to see where the market is headed and tailor their products and services to meet the future. Others might want to abandon a doomed industry or market. And of course small advertising or consulting businesses might want to read our research to share with their clients.

Be Inkandescent: How does someone get into the futures business? What type of background / schooling is needed?

Michael Vidikan: There are a few academic programs that offer degrees in Strategic Foresight and Futures Studies. They teach basic principles and methodologies, but many futurists are not classically trained. It’s often just circumstance that leads a person to become a futurist. Many started as researchers or scenario planners, then followed their passion for thinking about the future.

Be Inkandescent: How did you get into the business of being a futurist?

Michael Vidikan: It started during my MBA program. I took a course called “Emerging Technologies: Forecasts & Strategies for the Technology Revolution” by Prof. Bill Halal. I was drawn in by the promise of learning about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, space elevators, cancer-fighting nanobots, and other stuff that sounded like science fiction.

Be Inkandescent: What excites you most about this field?

Michael Vidikan: I learned that if you could plot the history of a technology’s progression, you could map its trajectory going forward and see the potential impact and opportunities it could create. Almost immediately after I finished my MBA, I was given an amazing opportunity to work for Innovaro’s Foresight Research division, helping global companies such as BASF, Hershey’s, and GM understand the future so they could make better long-term decisions. Like my clients, I love reading our reports about emerging consumer and technology trends. It’s live having a crystal ball that’s based in solid research. See for yourself at FutureInFocus.com.

Don’t stop yet! Be sure to check out two more fascinating future-focused reports in this month’s Tips for Entrepreneurs columns:
•  The 2015 Manifesto: Fathers, Sensitivity, and Parenting
•  The Five Types of Men: Which One Are You?

The 2015 Manifesto: Fathers, Sensitivity, and Parenting

High-quality (sensitive/supportive) and substantial father involvement from the month following birth is connected with a range of positive outcomes in babies and toddlers, including higher IQs at 12 months and 3 years, according to a report by the Fatherhood Institute.

In a sample of African-American families, fathers’ authoritarian parenting style (rigid and bossy) was linked with poorer vocabulary and other skills in their children — with the quality of the fathers’ parenting more influential than mothers’.

“School readiness” in young children is associated with high levels of fathers’ sensitivity, in addition to mothers’ sensitivity. Helping fathers as well as mothers to respond to infant cues and develop quality interactions with their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is very important.

Father-infant bonding is stronger when dads develop their own ways of doing things.

Fathers who exhibit “parental sensitivity” generally function as a supportive presence, respect their children’s autonomy, and exhibit low levels of hostility towards them. This trait is more often found in men who were older when they first became fathers, hold less traditional child-rearing beliefs, and report more intimacy with their children’s mothers (NICHD, 2000).

The kinds of interactions by fathers that have been shown to benefit young children’s development include supportive play, sensitive responses to children’s cues, expanding on what they say, referring to objects and events, eliciting actions, directing attention, prompting play, reading books, and using large vocabularies (Tamis-Le-Monda et al, 2012).

The magnitude of fathers’ influences is equal to and sometimes larger than that of mothers (Tamis-LeMonda et al, 2013). For example, “school readiness” in young children is associated with high levels of paternal sensitivity, over and above mothers’ sensitivity (Campbell & von Stauffenberg, 2008).

Babies whose fathers play a big role in caring for them are generally more sociable (Frascarolo, 2004).

Sensitive and substantial involvement by dads from the month following birth is connected with a range of good outcomes in babies and toddlers (Yarrow et al, 1984; Wachs et al, 1971), including better language development and higher IQs (Yogman et al, 1995; Magill-Evans and Harrison, 1999).

In China, the father’s warmth was found to benefit children’s educational and social adjustment (Chen et al, 2000).

Also in China, a father’s authoritarian parenting style (rigid and bossy) had a more negative impact on his children than authoritarian parenting by mothers (Chen et al, 1997).

Similarly, in the Philippines, fathers’ authoritarian parenting style was found to be linked to their children feeling frustrated and stressed (Esteban, 2006).

Authoritarian parenting by African-American fathers was again found to be more impactful than when mothers were authoritarian, and it was also connected to poorer vocabulary and other skills (Roopnarine et al, 2006).

To support paternal sensitivity:

  • Address myths about fathers’ capabilities with infants and children, so that both fathers and mothers understand that parenting skills and parental sensitivity are learned, not “innate,” and that fathers can learn as quickly as mothers (Myers, 1982).
  • Encourage fathers to go “skin to skin” with their newborns (Erlandsson et al, 2007).
  • Brief interventions such as Brazelton’s Newborn Behavioral Observations — which teach parents to assess their babies’ capabilities, or read infant “cues,” or engage in baby massage — can make a real difference to both the amount of father-infant interaction, and its quality (Sholz & Samuels, 1992; Myers, 1982).
  • Consider using “video playback,” where fathers and their babies are videotaped interacting with each other, and the videotape is then watched by the dad with a trained professional who points out successes in the interactions (Lawrence et al, 2013).
  • Pay attention to “micro-moments” within family routines, for example, encouraging fathers to hold their infants as often as possible, including when out as a family, and to engage in verbal exchanges with their babies when changing and feeding them (Tamis-LeMonda et al, 2013).
  • Encourage fathers to take charge of their infants on their own: Fathers who regularly spend time in sole charge of their babies develop confidence and skills and interact with them in a much wider range of ways than other fathers (Pedersen et al, 1987). This is connected with very good outcomes for children, including higher school grades (Hoffman & Youngblade, 1999).
  • Consider using “Hello Dad,” a superb and inexpensive DVD resource designed to help dads connect with their babies, which can be purchased online from the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry in Australia. Among other things, this demonstrates to fathers how to engage in “mutual gaze” with their infants, and explains how this assists brain development.

Download a PDF of this research summary:
FI Research Summary: Fathers, Sensitivity,
and Parenting Style.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

– Jesse Jackson

The gem cannot be polished without friction; nor man perfected without trials.”

– Chinese proverb

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.”

– Aristotle

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

The world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more.
 If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

The only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”

– Arundhati Roy

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing.”

– Maya Angelou

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?”

– Steven Schussler

I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

– Lewis Carroll

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

– Bob Dylan

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.“


– Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries

Who cares if my glass is half empty or half full; I still have something to drink.”

– Optimism rules

Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

Do you believe it is important to give back some portion of your wealth to support charitable causes?”

– Steven Schussler

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

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