Information Generation

January 10, 2007 · Posted in innovation, sharing · Comment 

This video points out the serious disconnect between the establishment and the generations that grew up with wide spread information technology. There are some very important insights. The moderator, Guy Kawasaki, asked one question several times and was surprised by the answer and couldn’t understand it. Part of the reason is he didn’t know how to ask the question in a way the kids that have grown up with pervasive info tech would understand.

These kids:

  • avoid advertising
  • shop in stores and buy online
  • buy lots of “legal” media
  • “pirate” most of their media
  • instant message a lot
  • don’t watch TV
  • like Apple products
  • use open source, but aren’t geeks

The thing the moderator seems to miss is these kids #1 concern is managing their time and attention. These kids use SMS text messaging because they can politely do it any time and any place. It doesn’t demand attention from the recipient. This is the same reason they use MySpace and Facebook. They don’t have time to personally deal with all their social interactions. The moderator incorrectly assumed these kids are missing social interaction because much of it is not done face to face. This is the exact opposite of the truth. These kids are managing hyper social behavior. They use technology to stay connected with friends and make connections with possible new friends.

How to Reach Kids

OK, Guy, this is what the kids didn’t tell you. They find out about new products from other people. All you need to do is reach an influencer and you’ve started a marketing virus. The best way to do this is make a really great product. The influencers are always looking for something new. This is how they stay cool. The followers will mimic the leaders and if the product is good it will spread. This does mean traditional advertising is dead or dying. The outcome is a better connection between buyers and sellers. If you make stuff that is cool, you become an influencer. Your website, blog, or just conversations will be the source for the next great thing. This can’t be faked, it must be earned. You can jump start your initial recognition by doing something valuable for the influencer market. A funny viral video is valuable because it is funny. Sponsor a band. Go to a blog and ask for negative feedback on your product. Then fix it. And give credit to those that helped you. This is only some of the ways to reach the attention stretched information generation.