After reading this study on how 60% of Gen Y professionals think they’re entrepreneurs (found via Jim Kukral‘s Facebook post), I remembered an “old” post from 2011 that described the millennial generation (born in late 70’s up to ’90) as “Generation Sale.” A little googling helped me find the NY Times piece.
It’s a spot on good read:
The small business is the idealized social form of our time. Our culture hero is not the artist or reformer, not the saint or scientist, but the entrepreneur. (Think of Steve Jobs, our new deity.) Autonomy, adventure, imagination: entrepreneurship comprehends all this and more for us. The characteristic art form of our age may be the business plan.
AND that, I think, is the real meaning of the Millennial affect — which is, like the entrepreneurial ideal, essentially everyone’s now. Today’s polite, pleasant personality is, above all, a commercial personality. It is the salesman’s smile and hearty handshake, because the customer is always right and you should always keep the customer happy. If you want to get ahead, said Benjamin Franklin, the original business guru, make yourself pleasing to others.
I was born in 1978, so I’m not sure where exactly I fall in the Gen Y / Gen Millennial grouping. I grew up loving Nirvana, grunge, and the entire “Nevermind” aesthetic but find myself enjoying artisanal pizza.
Nevertheless, “millennials” will change how we do marketing and advertising (and business in general). You can see the differences in food truck lines, churches that make lifelong members uncomfortable, expectations for work place experiences, and how we view the concept of “jobs” in 2014.
So be prepared.