Why Generation Y is So Important

hoboken-generation-y

Generation Y is the biggest, most interesting topic of our time. Don’t doubt it. This sort of generational thing has happened before.  And business, investment, politics, culture and everything else flowed out of that change 46 years ago.

Future Shock

FutureShockbyAlvinTofflerIn 1969, a Montrealer named Alvin Toffler wrote a top selling book titled Future Shock. I didn’t read the book until the mid 80’s but it fascinated me. He drew a bold picture of the future and said that a technological shock wave was about to transform our lives.

I’ve got a picture of me waking from a sleep on a sofa in my apartment, with Alvin Toffler’s book right beside me on a coffee table. I read it to exhaustion.

Future Shock was about the huge baby boom generation and how we would transform everything and bring in incredible technological advances. It was entertaining and hopeful. Look at your LTE smartphone sending signals to cell towers and you see what he envisioned decades ago.

It’s Only the Amazing Topics that Really Register

Interesting, compelling topics liven up your mind and make everything that much richer in your life. Provided you can find others that share the joy of fascination. If you don’t, then it’s time to start aggressively looking for those people.

Generation Y will change things much like ours eons ago.  In our generation, the older “great generation” wouldn’t adapt. This time is different. Many baby boomers will be more than willing to adapt. Some will even take to this technology and culture better than Gen Y’s do.  Baby boomers are and will continue to be an amazing generation.

I myself am more like Gen Y now than I am a baby boomer. So any research that paints extreme generalizations is foolish and should be deleted.

genymarriageMy goal is to be a bonafide expert about this group of consumers and culture changers.  I share their optimistic view of the future and can’t wait for it myself.  I’m going to be objective though and yet still poke fun at them.

This is a group that needs leadership and I might be able to help them navigate the path through opposition from Gen Xer’s and Baby Boomers.  I want to do that because Gen Y’s will fight against all oppression. Although some of them are spoiled brats, overall, they will devalue money and raise the value of what really matters in life — some of which they don’t have foggiest idea of yet.

The Rich Get Rich and Poor Get Poorer

The stats are shocking. 83 zillionairres own half the wealth on planet Earth. We’re nearing the end of our game of monopoly. Gen Y’s have played lots of games and when they know they’re going to lose a game, they quit and reboot.  That’s the perfect response.  They don’t give up on the war. They just lost a game.

I like this digital generation. They’re more open minded and willing to do what works. Their values and actions will be very influential for the next 30 years. A knowledge of them is a great investment of time.

I’ll be chronicalling or writing numerous posts on different aspects of their lives, and of course it’ll touch on everyone else’s life.  You’ll be able to relate to it.  You’ll learn their strengths and you’ll see their weaknesses. If you’re a entrepreneur or inventor or investor, you’ll find these insights helpful. Gen Y’s view of entrepreneurialism is itself interesting.

And I’ll expose bad research that misleads. There is research from big research companies that is shoddy and dishonest. It’s designed to skew perception and sell products. It isn’t real.

We owe it to Gen Y’s to use our critical acumen to ferret out these fraudulent corporate-funded propaganda mills.  Gen Y’s are skeptical yet they’re young and can be taken.  The young Gen Y CEO of Bitcoin committed suicide recently after her startup was defrauded for $2 Billion. Front page news, but why wasn’t there anyone there to warn her? Are Gen Y’s so full of themselves, they can’t accept help from others?

The stress of startups and the temptations of success, how will they handle it? Should be an interesting journey!

Crowd Funding — Lifting Gen Y’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

One thing that has absolutely changed from 20 to 30 years ago, is access to credit. Easy credit encourages and even enables entrepreneurs to take chances. Getting funding from banks has and always will be impossible, because banks aren’t about profit, they’re about risk management.

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Banks have it easy. They can literally print money. Canadian banks make from 2 to 10 billion $ in profit every year, each. They don’t need us as long as the Fed gives them a free ride.  And with banks having that kind of power, they can invade or selectively invest in business sectors such as wireless services, life insurance, car insurance and make life tough for underfunded companies competing there. That’s not fair.

I don’t like banks. Fortunately, something called crowdfunding has appeared and promises to fund a lot of startups who would never get off the ground such as artists, restaurants, software developers, tourism companies, and other risky ventures.  Crowdfunding is growing in reach and might. Crowdfunders are the most eager to connect and engage on Twitter, and that foretells much about a company’s future.

Crowdfunders are targeting Gen Y as Potential Investors Too

Gen Y’s won’t just be accessing startup capital, they will be investors also. This burgeoning growth outside the traditional financial structure sets the stage for a revolution in business.

Emerging projects must engage with this generation in order to expand financially and socially. Since younger individuals are seen as tech- and social-savvy, crowdfunders need to penetrate these networks and evoke an emotional response. To do so, projects should appeal directly to the values of this demographic. The more specific and transparent the cause, the easier this will be. Millennials want to know where their money goes so that they can watch their funds make a difference. In other words, projects need to show a change in their narrative from beginning to end for Millennials to share these stories on their own networks.  From Crowdfunders.com Crowdfunding with the Millennials

This is a key factor for Generation Y entrepreneurs whose dream might not be ended by stingy bankers. In an era where entrepreneurialism has to happen, we’re going to see many new success stories. Hope yours is one of them.

Learn more about crowdfunding at Forbes.com.

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All about crowdfunding with Kickstarter Joy SchofflerCrowdfunding

Prospecting: Choose Your Customers Wisely

Years ago, launching my first startup, an Internet marketing consulting business, I targeted top notch International clients (not Canadian). Yes, an amateur, but for my first business, it was a fairly decent success.  I did what I was passionate about with a vision of the CEO/CMO I wanted to attract.

It wasn’t about money. My driving thought was about being important to someone.  I wanted to be wanted, and to have the freedom to deliver maximum value, without interference.  That wasn’t possible in my previous jobs, but as an independent consultant (and entrepreneur) you have the FREEDOM TO make the biggest contribution possible — results an employee won’t achieve.

Benefits of Being Independent Consultant

  • work/life balance
  • no commuting
  • less commuting costs
  • freedom to pursue optimal workstyle and results
  • more time for everything
  • more quality time for work
  • less time stress
  • choose your clients
  • no office politics
  • freedom to travel

Your freedom from scripts and rigid role playing, to produce top notch results is the catalyst for star performance. You’re free of office politics however, the downside is you may not have a transparent view of what’s happening in their office.  That’s solved with frequent visits.

GiftAPPRECIATION: To increase the value of.
Good Customers appreciate your gift. In fact they encourage and welcome it. It is a certain sign of whether the relationship with you is valued. If they don’t value you, they won’t acknowledge your gift or receive it with joy. Their  cold or lackluster response is a direct expression of their  real appreciation of you. The Japanese often bear gifts when greeting others. Have you ever wondered why?

As a consultant, you can have a dramatic effect on a business’s success. In fact, you have some power to lift a negative client and make them successful despite themselves.  But, should you do that?

I was fortune enough to be able to do that for a number of clients. Using my website (my main business development tool), I positioned myself as a search engine optimization expert. I’d written a couple of books in 2002 and gained a solid grasp of Google’s search algorithm. I attended some big events in California and portrayed myself as a professional who could add serious value.

I got calls from some flaky people wanting something for nothing and calls from big brand names. I actually turned down Virgin Mobile because I couldn’t see how I could help them. And I got another call from a big hotel and thought, oh ya, I can help them. I had dozens of other good quality leads too, and they’d wait if I wasn’t immediately available. They wanted me and no one else. That’s when you know you’ve done your brand positioning well. You’re almost fascinating. (However, I made an error in committing to a few good clients and neglected to grow the business).

Your Initial Meetings – Are You Satisfied?

Things don’t always go smooth though.  There were indications right off the bat with the hotel marketing team (lack of firm commitment)  and sure enough years later that issue would return. One dour manager wasn’t impressed and he wasn’t too enthusiastic during meetings. He controlled the finances and was orienting my results to his purpose.

10 Warning Signs of Bad Client Types
10 Warning Signs of Bad Client Types
Ali QayyumWeb Design & Development

Long story short, I took their website traffic from Google, from 1.2 million visits per year to 2.5 million visits per year. Huge isn’t it? They did very well. Every prospective company has people and technical issues. This was a client with technical issues that made my job difficult and an accountant that was never on my side.  The hotel wasn’t converting visitors to the degree they fantasized about, and that was the real issue.

The accountant may have thought he could outsource my work to India through some of his connections perhaps. In any event, his lack of appreciation put a strain on the relationship with my direct client. For some reason, they didn’t buy my “supreme” services package which was actually underpriced.  They chose the middle option which made it difficult to get top notch results. And getting top notch SEO services in those days was almost a guarantee of big $$$$ success.

So, not having that backing from the prospect/client where it was needed, foretold the obvious; that projects would be underfunded and under-supported. So this client was good and bad. It’s not always clear cut, but if it leaves you with a sour taste, then it’s bad. Long term, that will wear you down.

Who You Choose as Your Customer Will Determine Your Success

The most important thing for any consultant or service business is having good clients.  Internet marketing services, air conditioning repair services, manufacturers, and even retailer’s future depends on the quality of their client/customer.

Serve the wrong customer and they could ruin your business and take away your health, enthusiasm, and future. From that initial meeting you may have all the information you need.

Bad Customers will ruin you. Identifying them quickly and weeding them out is a vital part of your business plan. Take a look your plan, does it mention a “weeding out bad prospects” task? If you’re in business long term, position your brand, so that only quality prospects will call you. Your marketing communications tells them whether you’re the right one for them. That’s good branding and power positioning.

Bad Customers:

  1. Don’t pay you what you’re worth
  2. Don’t communicate or provide feedback
  3. Don’t express appreciation for what you have done for them
  4. Think the worst when some issue crops up
  5. Don’t express enthusiasm about you
  6. Don’t enable you to achieve goals
  7. Underfund projects
  8. Tell you what to do
  9. Create stress that will affect you later

Good Customers:

  1. Pay you all they can because you return more than you cost
  2. Communicate openly, uncritically, and provide essential feedback
  3. Continually express appreciation so that you will produce more value
  4. Think the best of you when some issue crops up
  5. Express enthusiasm about you as a friend and service provider
  6. Do anything to enable you to achieve goals
  7. Properly fund projects
  8. Let you discover what works and how to get it done

Here’s an entrepreneurial credo to live by: You Are Your Customer.

Choose-WiselyTreat them as though you were doing for yourself. Whatever you produce comes right back to you, so in reality, you are the end customer. Be generous, supportive, encouraging, effective, and create value. When a prospect looks like they will resent your productivity, support, and effort, don’t get involved with them. The prospect that wants to help you help them is your bulls-eye target.  Get that right and your life will be very good.
Good customer/clients care about you just like your best friends. They support you completely because they know it’s going to benefit you and them. Mutually supportive and you’ll both be better for it.

There’s a lot of politics in some companies/corporations and you’ll never know what’s going on behind the scenes. Yet, that will have an effect on your future. If there’s issues, prejudices, and corrosive elements, and if you’re sensitive, you’ll pick that up. It could save you from making the worst mistake for an entrepreneur – choosing the wrong client/customer.

 

Outsourcing Marketing to India is Killing our Businesses

After you Outsource Marketing to India, What’s Left?

In the current yet long running outsourcing IT and customer service to India craze, companies are hoping they can outsource marketing to them as well. Although coding might be okay for Indian providers, marketing is where they fall flat on their face.

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Yes, even McDonalds is outsourcing to India

Marketing communications is subtle and person, therefore a typed script, a code bloated app, or blasting out timed broadcast spam email just doesn’t cut it.  Personal is a frightening word to Indian companies. Some IT people see marketing as a subtask of IT, but that is completely ridiculous.

Marketing’s value and success in the social media era is about the subtlety of personalized human to human, real time online engagement. That’s something Indian companies can’t do, yet they’d like to have you outsource marketing to them.

Through many years of networking and working with clients, I’ve learned that if there are any Indians on staff, it will be unlikely that my company will be chosen for digital marketing. And if my company is chosen, it’s short lived and an Indian company will get to build on my quality efforts.




Indians will only Work with Indians

I wrote this post after speaking with yet another Indian IT manager, whom if you don’t know, try to influence managers to outsource digital marketing to their connections in their motherland quoting cheap costs.  Vulnerable CEOs are too quick to think they can take the heat off by outsourcing to India.  You can see how this is a negative signal — of last resorts for a manager in trouble. In contrast is the choice to hire a North American digital marketer with the ability to connect and touch prospects emotionally. There’s no reason to pull punches here. This is a big problem that’s growing.

Relying on cheap Indian digital marketing tactics is having a significant depressing impact on British and North American business competitiveness and GDP.  US trade deficit with India is rising fast at 24 billion dollars. Maintaining our international competitiveness means taking care of our marketing ourselves. India should not be controlling our marketing.

I Bought this Garbage Cheap!

If you shop at Walmart, Tesco, ToysRus, Costco, or Walgreen’s, you see wall to wall cheap plastic products from China (especially at Xmas) which get little or no use and end up in your local dump. The same thing is taking place online with Indian IT marketeers. They create digital junk whose value vaporizes quickly. I’ve worked with them in the past and learned this truth from experience. They’re the digital IT candy store that leaves you with profit cavities.

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Photo courtesy of outsourceportfolio.com

When companies use Indian IT marketeers, the value is temporary and leaves your customers feeling awkward, misunderstood, uneasy, and uncomfortable which erodes customer loyalty and brand value. When results drop, you’re left to ask them to fix it. How ironic? Their content is always along the lines of tech talk and is boring, uninformative, and actually ruins your carefully, laser-etched brand image. It’s corrosive of everything you’re building.

As the stats reveal, the outsourcing of IT and customer relationships to India is dangerous to our long term economic health and our own career opportunities. It’s only natural that India would try to tie marketing to IT.  It’s the best way to infiltrate another sector of our economy.  But indian IT leaves no satisfaction when it comes to the world of marketing which is becoming more personalized.

Why Indian Providers Fail

  • the work is of poor quality – you get what you pay for
  • work is not tailored to the local business
  • results are not organic – they’re manufactured and against Google’s link guidelines
  • non-organic networking creates poor quality leads which leads a business down the wrong road
  • lack of understanding of American or British personality and nuance
  • lack of understanding of American/British values and reasoning
  • results are often designed to provide short term value only so you’ll return to pay them more
  • they possess an unsavoury digital soul devoid of real human stories and interaction
  • time delay causes huge administrative headaches and worsens miscommunication issues
  • offshoring branding and traffic access makes a company’s control of their future tenuous
  • Indian staff here favor only Indian subcontractors whether they’re competent or not

Poor Performance Factors – Cloaking the Truth

india-outsource
Photo courtesy of ndtv.com

Poor performance from Indian firms goes well beyond grammatical and spelling errors. There is a whole issue of semantics that they can’t comprehend. Big telecom companies are cloaking the cultural and linguistic dissonance using formal customer service scripts that take the emotional and human element completely out of it.

By taking the human to human experience out of it though, and turning it into a robotic exercise driven by marketing automation, they cripple their ability to be taken seriously by customers. Consumers are being treated like mindless automatons who devour simple, mechanical messaging dished out in conveyor belt fashion.

Consequently, customer satisfaction is taken out too. And if you’ve ever spoken with Indian customer service reps for half an hour to solve a small tech issue (while they try to sell you the upgraded package that saves you money scam), you understand how exasperating it is. Big companies with monopoly positions only want cost savings and they’re willing to take a big hit in brand destruction to make those extra dollars. It’s not a good tradeoff.

Cheap is Never Good

Indian marketeers are unable to express the subtleties of a company’s value proposition and branding in personal, human terms that make it work meaningfully with North American and British customers. They don’t understand our culture so they hide in technology. They fail terribly at social media where they must connect with, interact and engage meaningfully with British or North American audiences. But don’t think for a minute that Indian companies are turning a blind eye to social media. Social media CRM chat apps, using English names, and phony photographs are their trojan horse.

In lead generation, the cheap traffic they build to websites is the least qualified, often time-wasting type that erodes marketing staff morale and which then creates disillusionment and suspicion that someone like myself has to deal with afterward.

Targeting the Bottom of the Barrel Leads

Choosing an Indian provider is a sure sign that a company is not targeting the 20% audience that comprise the best prospects. Indian companies look for easy, low hanging fruit via IT tactics that a company could get on its own. The style of Indian companies creates a rift between marketing and the company, and corrodes the company’s brand image.

And this is all under the banner of cheap, something for nothing promises that Indian companies thrive on. When indian link builders generate inbound links, they are all too often of poor quality that actually drags down company search engine rankings. Then when a North American digital marketing company comes in, they have to undo the harm created.

Instead of cost cutting on critical digital marketing functions, it might be wise to reorganize staffing to create a budget for them. The hiring of Indian companies is an insult to digital marketing because it means marketing comes last in the priority hierarchy and must operate with minimal budgets and respect. As an example, link building is the most important SEO task, yet when clients hear the phrase link building, they imagine $10 paid links comes to mind. And indian links always disappear.  Copywriting? Graphics? Always embarrassing.

Trump Says “No More”

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Despite his new building in Mumbai, Trump is steadfast on his goal of revitalizing the US economy and trade balance. Photo courtesy of Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump, the next US president is talking tough about restricting NB1 Visas which pull Indian workers into the US. Trump’s pro American talk is gaining momentum. Outsourcing to India and having Indian companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro bring workers into the US is a highly contentious issue. But it really highlights how extreme the Indian problem has become.

I doubt you’ll argue that your marketing is your company’s future. If that’s true, then hiring Indian firms suggest your company is heading in a downward spiral. You can pull out of the deathspin by giving projects to capable North American or British marketing firms who can and will develop the right emotional messaging, branding, and engagement with customers and prospects.

How we can rid ourselves on the Indian marketing problem is to put a heavy accent on real time engagement and the emotional, cultural subtleties that make customers happy. Real time engagement is powerful in converting leads but that happens when a customer is speaking with a peer in their world. Customers want meaningful experiences, those that connect to their daily life experiences. That’s what social media is all about.

Social media’s rise shows how important social connections are to us, whether business or personal. Customers want genuine people and companies to connect with. Your transparency using North American or British providers means your customers will trust you more. Trust, likability, and expertise they can relate to personally is vital to business success today.

Hire a Canadian, US, or British firm and connect with real people worth knowing and engaging with. The success of your company, agency, brokerage, or consulting business relies on this authenticity of engagement.

Read up on the hottest real estate markets in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Diego, and in York Region Ontario. You might have me help you market your home or use a real estate agent in your town.  Compare the costs and results.

Is Studying/Being Entrepreneurial Worth it?

Being a successful entrepreneur whether it’s a small service startup or a well-funded large scale venture is hard work and does take considerable talent.  The ability to produce substantial value for clients includes knowledge, experience, energy, courage, confidence, and good networking, among other traits.

In an article in Entrepreneur, the author takes a hard line that perhaps not so many of us are cut out to be entrepreneurs.

Not to dash your hopes and dreams, but the truth is the vast majority of you simply aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs or leaders. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. And the sooner you realize you’re not going to be the second coming of Mark Zuckerberg, the better.

That may be true. But entrepreneurial knowledge is of great value in itself. Even if you don’t lead an entrepreneurial effort or a startup, you at least understand what’s happening and thereby position yourself to be of more value to the leader, whoever that is. Maybe you’ll be his right hand man/woman?

A business needs customers who are raving fans, but an entrepreneur needs associates, employees, and mentors who are fans too, and understand what’s needed and what’s happening. That builds their confidence and enthusiasm when they know they have someone competent to share the journey with. That could make a huge difference in their decision making power.

So entrepreneurialism isn’t just for those lonely leaders stuck with making big risky decisions, it’s for everyone in a growth organization, big or small. This knowledge can only help you become more valuable down the road on your career path as you connect with others. Generation Y especially need to understand the concepts, need and risks of entrepreneurship, along with marketing strategy in order to validate and justify their lofty expectations.

Check out the article on 7 Things Great Entrepreneurs Don’t Do and What Entrepreneurs Need to Know by Mark Cuban.

Retro Thursday – Gloria Estefan

It’s back to the late 80’s and early 90’s with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Their music was normally fun, upbeat, romantic and her musicians were talented. These are really nice songs, and they made more.

She had and still does have one of the most beautiful and distinctive voices of any female singer. Her songs were nice and revolved around dancing, romance, and a lovelorn girl pining for the wrong guy it seemed (bad boys).


gloria-estefanShe’s still going with a new album and into acting with TV shows like Glee. Her homepage,  Twitter page and Facebook page shows she’s not dead yet.  She’s pretty hot for her age eh! In fact, she’s hot enough to appeal to Gen Y audiences.

Her new music is nice but I’m not sure her middle aged fans will like it or not. I can see them dancing on their yacht parties.

She probably could redo the Miami Sound Machine music and there’d still be an audience for it.

Anyway, after viewing and listening to the videos, what do you think of her music? What do you think her potential still is?  Should she  try for some new music that’s more lively or just settle for the lounge music?

 Gloria Estefan, Glee

This is probably my favourite song from Gloria Estefan

I really liked hearing this one in the morning: “Get on your feet”

Gloria Estefan with Words Get in the Way



Another happy song with a lively, latin beat.

Check out more music videos and progressive house music.

Generation Y – Positives and Negatives (updated)

Gen Y and Their Marriage to Technology isn’t all what it seems

Generation Y will make up a big chunk of the employed population and very soon they’ll shape our work environment. Researchers are gathering more insight into this generation. I’ll have a series of posts on Gen Y. Their attitudes, motivation and preferences are important to us and perhaps important to the world.

China and Russia may have their own versions of Gen Y and we’ll have to understand them as well. It’s an exciting time to discover what’s new.

Accounts of the Millenials are either really rosy or dour.  You’ll read plenty of personality traits. The best trait perhaps is their acceptance of entrepreneurialism, yet some accounts are that they don’t have the drive or faith to go it alone. I guess the danger here is that we’re suggesting a group like Gen Y are all the same when they’re not. Baby boomers are not all the same either.

After the 28 year old CEO of Bitcoin committed suicide, after the company was fleeced for $2 Billion, we know that Gen Y may not understand the full context of things. It is a shock to them when they discover the things on CNN, although very far fetched, can actually happen. The research can help us help them be winners, overcome their digital paranoia, and relax.

Here’s a good brief account of who they are. Let’s take a closer look.

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Pinned by Jonathan BrownGen Y

Give Me a Break Will Ya!

I know lots of Gen Y’s and I think they’re mature, capable, intelligent, with lots of potential. Some are conservative, reliable, and sensible. They’re a great group with unlimited potential to lead us. But will they be lost without us? If they have a negative view of older generations, the repercussions could be serious.

Ageism will become a big issue. Just as we might typecast them, they may typecast us as out of touch and unskilled.  If we don’t unmask the phoney differences that marketers creates, we may not be able to relate to each other. The good thing is that Gen Y’s and their parents are more like friends now which means they’ll mature quickly.

There’s much more to a whole generation of people than what I can cover in a short blog post, and I certainly am not an expert.  Some Gen Y’s will be insulted that they’re being categorized in such a manner and I don’t blame them. None of the posts I’ve read ever acknowledged the exceptions in every group. There’s advertising money to be made in exaggerating differences.


psychologytoday
An article in the April 2014 issue of Psychology Today was about Millenials (born 1983-2000) and was insightful.

They grew up with the Internet, cell phones, video games, and everything else digital, but there are other influences. They’ve adapted to this huge wealth of information and possibilities. How do they cut through all the crap?  We need to learn how they do it.

The economy is different, career lines are different for them, and even family and social relations are different. Many of them are single children. How they cope should tell us a lot about what might happen in business and their personal lives from this point on.

The younger generation are pushing for more creative and freedom-giving options at work.  En mass, they will push for a better way to live.

Bad Rap – No Street Cred with Grampa and Gramma

Reports seem to focus on Gen Y’s as lazy, irresponsible, lacking in gratitude, ungiving, disloyal, unsympathetic, and overly dependent on their friends or social world.

The traditional frame of reference is that people should be independent, stand on their own feet, be accountable for one’s allotted position in life, to think for themselves, not survey friends via smartphone about important decisions. But this social connectedness does open them up to new perspectives and information. They’re into sharing.

We live in a results based society now, so why would they care about anything other than what gets them these results? You can forget about your educational and corporate credentials. They don’t care. Written a book or walked on the moon? Yawn. Have 45K twitter followers? Okay, now you’re cool.

They may be more dependent on their digital social circle. This lonely generation craves closeness and company. They couldn’t comprehend our admiration for the bold, independent lone wolf, idolized in John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies. We’re not afraid of being alone but they’re terrified of it.

millenial

Maybe We Need to Redefine Maturity

If someone is lively, friendly, spontaneous, flexible, broad minded, social and playful, we brand them as immature. In fact, that behaviour marks them as supremely mature in their world.

What’s so strange is that these young people are our next leaders. They’ll shape our politics, social programs and determine if we can compete with the Russians, South Americans and Asia Pacific. If they have the capacity to think about it for a moment, they’ll realize they can be our heroes by mastering technology and virtualized connections and sharing that with us. We’d better be open to their input.

The best of them will see beyond their frame of reference to empathize with Gen Xer’s and Baby Boomers.  The foolish ones will hide in superficial, unproven millenial values while not empathizing with the concerns of the older crowd. The older crowd, including their parents are truly concerned about where they’re going in this world of no guarantees, temporary loyalty, and global competition. We’re worried about ourselves too.

Adaptation and Courage

At the same time, millenials have a sensitivity to what’s going on today around the world and they can see it in person, something we only dreamed of.  And they’re building survival skills in a “no promises” world. Their adaptiveness and courage in facing this digital game of winner take all is something we need to pay close attention to.

prosumer
Read the Prosumer Report on Millenials

So I don’t know about Gen Y’s being immature, delayed in development, cause they may have more social intelligence than we do, and are more aware of what counts in life. If it does come down to relationships, and not what you know, then they’re going to come out ahead. They are young, living in a world full of false possibilities, traps, false information and too much data. They’re developing ways of filtering out the massive junk that confronts them.

They don’t want the hierachical structure, authoritarianism, and anything else conventional that wastes their time.

As a babyboomer, I like this younger generation because I can see myself in them. I never believed in authoritarianism either and I like the all the amazing possibilities out there now. I’ve never been interested in the old Victorian Era values because they left you closed to growth and possibilities. This young crowd has more potential and opportunities than anyone ever had.

Are they interested in marriage and mortgage contracts? How about lifetime careers with one company, or living in one place for 50 years? Some convince themselves they want what their parents have. But let’s not exaggerate things. They’ll be a lot like us because they’re caught in the same environment.

They Won’t Make it By Themselves

I think Gen Y’s need security and structure but their love of freedom and growth is much like mine. When I need inspiration and guidance, I will most often rely on my own intellect. With my own studious approach, I understand much more.  But our generation sees this generation has all we lack. They may have all we wanted. We were born 30 years too soon.

This generation may not have much of an imagination (no daydreaming?) and not bother to think for themselves or know where they’re really going.  But their sensitivity to what’s happening and what will happen soon shouldn’t be underestimated. Whether you’re a marketer or a grandparent, knowing them is wise.

Further reading:

Generation Y, Thriving and Surviving

Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World 

Gen Buy: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-somethings are Revolutionizing Retail 

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Pinned by Kari SaratovskyMillennial Gen Infographics

Retro Thursday — Def Leppard

This UK group appeared in the 80’s. They were produced by Mutt Lange, Shania Twain’s ex-husband who was creating a series of super groups that would culminate with the girl from Timmins.

Def Leppard was definitely wired, perfect for young guys like me with too much energy going to play hockey or whatever! Love those guitars!

Photograph was probably their biggest hit.

Got a photograph, picture of..
You’re the only one I wanna touch.
You’re all I want a fantasy
Oh!!! Look at what you’ve done to this rock’n roll clown
I don’t want your….. I don’t need your… All I’ve got is a photograph
You’ve gome straight to my head!!!
I wanna touch you.

Let’s Not get Hysterical

Me to We Equador

My niece has arrived in Quito, Equador for her teaching trip in a developing country. Part of her training to become a teacher. She’s probably arrived now in the town of Coca near the Columbian border at the top of the Amazon.

coca

That doesn’t sound very safe does it? I hope she’s okay, and can breathe at 9300 feet above sea level. You know, we’re part gypsy, so it makes sense that she’s roaming the world. But she’s teaching, not selling snake oil.

This is a part of the Me to We program which is integrated with Ontario Universities. She has to teach grade 7 & 8 kids while she’s there.  Anyone would enjoy that but an all day bus ride through the jungle would definitely get your eyes wide open.

A Photograph’s Not Enough! – (look at what you’ve done to this rock’n roll clown).  How about some 80’s rock music too with the Youtbue video: Def Leppard and Photograph (Yes, I’m that old. This was produced by Shania Twain’s ex husband Mutt Lange).