discussion/presentation about Millenials
Posted at 10:34h, 21 Oct 2014 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

First, our thanks to all of you who attended last week’s Breakfast with an Angel, and a very big thank you to Jason Klein, our guest investor who stayed around till noon to speak with everyone.

Our next Breakfast with an Investor will be on November 20th and our guest investor will be Pedro Torres Picon, founder of Quotidian Ventures. More about him on the eventbrite page, and he is a very active early stage investor – and always has a great story to tell. Register here.

Every now and again, we attend a conference where there is a discussion/presentation about Millenials. The Digital Generation, which, it seems, has to be treated very differently. They think differently. They behave and react differently. And, on balance, they feel put upon because the ground shifted, globally, as soon as they came of age, and lucky for those non-Millenials among us: life on earth hasn’t changed since the dawn of the industrial age.

Dear Millenials,

We personally have nothing against you and have no axe to grind, and sorry that you’re all tossed into one bucket – that’s the way it goes, as with GenX, GenY, Boomers, whatever. See? You’re just like every other Gen who came before you.

But you’re tech literate. And have more to worry about, since kids do gossip, and you have a reputation to protect. On Instagram, facebook, snapchat, whatever. We had the phone. Same idea. Same behavior, too. Only the technology has been upgraded and the names changed to deceive the clueless.

We attended a conference this week and one of segment was on you all. There were videos, so a bunch of you spoke in your own words. The disconnect with you and working for certain companies: the company must have ethics and believe in social responsibility. All well and good, but then you go on to say that you’re being supported by your parents – which doesn’t stop you from collecting food stamps as well, so that you can afford that smoked salmon at Trader Joes. Your words, not ours. You seem to have a fairly loose definition of ethics, it would seem. What are your principles, and it’s just a question.

And being able to do a google search or post to Instagram does not make you tech-savvy. You’re merely a child of your times. Were our great grandmother to come back, we’d no doubt make her lunch. She’s probably hungry, so we’ll use the microwave.

And when she sees us program the microwave, she’d think we were a tech genius, too.

Heads up, and time to take life seriously. While you wait it out for that perfect job, you don’t seem to be paying much attention to that technology at which you are supposedly so literate. The robots are coming, and companies are stepping up the game, when it comes to machine learning. While you’re consumed with social responsibility (when you’re not otherwise busy on snapchat), those robots are about to sweep in and take over that career you might have had. Like they say, this ain’t no fooling around. (For the record, it’s from a song called Life During Wartime.)

Every generation is faced with its own unique challenges and has to step up to the plate and feels that they’ve been handed all of the world’s problems. That’s life. The world has changed – privacy is gone: so stop broadcasting your life over social media. Coopetition is fine, and we know that that was the way you were raised, on balance, but it doesn’t apply in the real world. Like every generation before you, once you graduate from high school or college, you’re on your own. You’re not a victim, although you are expected to show some signs of adulthood. And like every generation before you, you start in an entry level position – at the bottom of the totem pole.

For the record, and for those of us who remember the days of Web 1.0, you’re not the first generation that’s ‘computer savvy.’ So was Gen Y. Like you, they graduated and expected a corner office and expected the working world to bend to their will and needs. Like you, they were overly coddled and overpaid, even though they were working at startups that were living off the fumes and investors’ money. Much of what we were seeing (and hearing) then, we’re seeing and hearing now.

That was right before the bubble burst. The first time.

It didn’t work then. It’s not working now. Things do change, over time, but it takes time and work. That’s just the way of the world, thanks for listening and have a nice day. Onward and forward.