In the introduction to her new book, The Hummer and the Mini (Portfolio Hardcover, $25), trendmaster Robyn Waters says businesses need to stop thinking outside the box. These days, there is no box. There’s paradox.

Waters contends that we live in a polyglot age, in a time ruled by contradiction — when people buy diamonds and fine crystal at Costco, when Chanel-aholic socialites also shop H&M, and, yes, when a humongous Hummer and a miniature Mini are likely to share a driveway.

Waters, who helped raise Target from regional discounter to design powerhouse, says trends are now so diffuse, there is no one “next big thing” but a thousand. She turns her spotlight on businesses as diverse as Whole Foods and DaVinci Roofscapes, which each, in their own way, capitalize on consumers’ increasingly expanding desires.

But don’t come to this book seeking answers; Waters offers none. Instead, she illuminates a landscape of paradoxical trends so confusing that it makes well-meaning marketers hyperventilate — and then she says, “Get over it.” Embracing contradiction is not only the way to peace but also the way to profits. How to embrace those contradictions? That’s up to you.
— Tracy Staton