Mike Berland
5 min readAug 16, 2021


Graphic by K8 Strassman

Now that we are halfway through the year and summer is wrapping up… we are using this week’s Monday Special Up & Down to feature 5 highlights from this year so far.

August 8, 2021

WHAT’S UP: Micro-investing is on the rise. This movement is bringing financial literacy and empowerment to a more diverse (and younger) audience.

Graphic by Trevor Briggs

Investing & saving money is the latest to get micro-sized.

Micro-investing describes the process of depositing, saving and investing small sums of money. Apps like Acorns, Stash and Robinhood are fueling the movement — they are platforms that remove barriers to entry such as trading fees and account balance minimums. Like other “micro” trends, micro-investing is low mass (awareness) but high velocity (high in engagement) — taking something that is normally out of reach (like the stock market) and making it relevant, personal and easy to get into.Micro-investing is gaining velocity because it is making it easy for “non-money” people — including women and younger generations — to understand, get engaged and get their foot in the investment world door.

July 16, 2021

WHAT’S UP: The force keeping many CEOs up at night? Momentum for ESG is on the UP again.

ESG strategies are not new but they are in a momentum moment as they are in the midst of going through an evolution.

ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) strategies are no longer about compliance. ESG strategies are a momentum maker and vehicle for growth for your organization.

How? By aligning your ESG strategy with the 5 Drivers of momentum, most importantly DISRUPTION and SOCIAL IMPACT to get stakeholders (e.g. consumers, employees, investors, media) to think about your company differently.

The Challenge: Company leaders know they need an Environmental, Social and Governance strategy… But they want to go beyond “compliance” — they want to use these strategies as a force for business momentum.

May 30, 2021

WHAT’S UP: Mental Health

2021’s Mental Health Awareness Month gave way to a new wave of momentum for mental health, alternative medicines & mushrooms.

As reopening plans roll out, preparations are in place for the next big disruption: going back to work, school, traveling, and socializing. The work that still needs to be done? Getting people mentally prepared.

One of the main pushes of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month? The healthcare community is focused on getting people mentally prepared to deal with the inevitable anxiety, fear, and stress of getting back out into the world full force and adjusting to post quarantine life.

As May closes out, mental health leaders are committed to making mental health awareness an ongoing, year-round conversation.

Says APA President Jeffrey Geller: “This is a call to action for policymakers, who need to remember that in our COVID-19 recovery, there’s no health without mental health.”

April 11, 2021

WHAT’S UP: Golfcore

It was Masters weekend, making golf top of mind for many…

What was not yet in the mainstream? The way golf apparel is getting streetwearified. This emerging trend, also known as Golfcore (Golf x Streetwear), is heightening the heritage of golf and making golf accessible / relatable to a new & more diverse demographic.

With early / emerging trends like Golfcore (Golf x Streetwear), we break down its momentum in terms of Mass (awareness + reach) and Velocity (engagement + polarization).

We know a trend / movement like Golfcore (Golf x Streetwear) is about to take off when its velocity is surging. Golfcore’s velocity is up from 27 in April 2020 to 48 in April 2021.

Why is velocity important? Velocity measures the passion, intensity, and engagement of a movement. When it is on the rise, it is an early indicator it will expand to the masses and achieve momentum and cultural relevance.

Golfcore (Golf x streetwear), started by a niche group of streetwear designers and culture creators like Tyler, the Creator, and Macklemore, Malbon, G/FORE, and Eastside Golf is disrupting the mindset towards golf and adding a new twist to the traditional attire. Think bright colors, bucket hats, hoodies, Jordans, and joggers. It’s far from what you’ve traditionally seen on the golf course, from a diverse crowd you might not expect to embrace the game.

Why does Golfcore have velocity now? Quarantine gave golf a positive boost — its momentum surged from 52 in April 2020 to 71 in May 2020. It was one of the few socially distanced outdoor activities we could safely do. The National Golf Foundation and Golf Datatech found that 2020 saw an approximate 12-percent increase in rounds played in the United States over 2019’s total, equal to an increase of 50 million rounds. That influx brought new players and new ideas to the game. We haven’t seen a disruption to the golf community this big since Tiger Woods came on the scene.

April 11, 2021


Since the start of the new year, we’ve seen exciting shake-ups in the investment and trading world. First meme stocks, (GameStop, AMC) then the rise of SPACs.

Then we saw NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) see a surge in momentum as crypto currency becomes more widely accepted and NFTs become easier to ‘mint’, buy and trade.

Why did NFTs take off in April? Most of the buzz was around how NFTs are used to buy and sell digital art. They are setting a precedent for digital artists to get paid.

Thought leaders, money moguls and notable art houses like Christie’s are giving NFTs their stamp of approval, driving the momentum to surge. So too is the need to protect and monetize digital art and other virtual assets (much like how the music industry sought to prevent people from downloading songs for free in the first decade of the digital revolution… remember Napster?).

The Takeaway?

Momentum for NFTs will continue to rise as additional industries beyond digital art experiment with NFTs.

The benefit of NFTs? They provide an exciting opportunity for brands to experiment in the digital world with one-of-a-kind experiences / digital products while staying authentic to their core values and brand.

Since April, we’ve already seen industries like beauty, fashion, food / beverage, and travel / hospitality start leveraging NFTs.



Mike Berland

Momentum Maker, Author of Maximum Momentum, Founder & CEO of Decode_M