Saturday, September 22, 2007

Generation Net

According to marketing theory there are several demographic cohorts. These group individuals with generational similarities based on birth year. They go from “Depression cohort” (born from 1912 to 1921), “Post-War cohort” (1928 to 1945), to the famous “Baby Boomers” (1946 to 1964), “Generation X” (1965 to 1976) to the latest “Generation Y” (1984 to 2001). According to Wikipedia, the key characteristics of the Generation Y’ers are the quest for physical security and safety, patriotism, heightened fears, acceptance of change, technically savvy, and environmental issues. Notice that they were born with the rise of the Internet. 

In my opinion, they don’t give enough emphasis on the rise of the Internet to Generation Y’ers. I believe that they should be called the “Generation Net” instead. Young adults that Google for information online, network socially using MySpace and Facebook, send emails rather than letters and Online Postcards rather than classic postcards. They understand what Java is, what Macromedia is used for and the importance of Adobe Acrobat Reader. They did homework reports using MS Word and used Excel for doing their physics graphs. They can find information online in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds. In other words, they are ultra efficient – in part because of their multitasking practice when listening to the iPod while talking on the mobile phone and chatting with someone online.

For the workforce, Generation Y’ers (or Generation Net’ers, as I’d like to call them) represent the major source of momentum for economic growth. They are efficient and with a ton of energy. This generation will use collaboration as a main weapon of productivity. Every major company in the world ought to have a college graduate program in place to try to retain these individuals as soon as possible. Their potential is much greater than older employees looking for securing a job for life. However, the biggest beneficiaries are the Start-ups and SMB’s. All employees should have fresh ideas, highly effective and risky.

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