Friday, August 22, 2008

Generation Y: Technology on Our Terms

Mark Bao was on a quasi-panel discussion today at Gnomedex. You may not know Mark so here's a bit more:

Mark is CEO of Avecora, he's already sold 3 Facebook applications, he runs several startups, and he got an absentee note from his mom to miss school today. See, Mark is 16 years old and a sophomore in high school. He's kind of the technological Michael Phelps of Generation Y, who is completely immersed in today's technology and consumer gadgets that enable communication and connection.

At the conference, which has a medium age of maybe 35 -- technologists, media, bloggers, etc. -- these folks had a chance to pose questions to Mark. It was quite funny, actually, in my opinion. It was as if a spaceship landed outside the conference, Mark popped out, and the conference goers had a chance to ask about an alien life form -- Generation Y.

This is more about the audience's reaction to being able to task questions of Mark, not of Mark himself. He's incredibly polished for his age and will undoubtedly do great things in his life, and probably make a lot of money.

Ultimately, it seems older generations have a deep desire to know about GenY and what makes it tick, how they view today's technology, and where they see it going. While Mark, as an individual, shouldn't have to represent an entire generation, he sure has a finger on the pulse more than a lot of kids his age, and as such, he offered up his take on why Gen Y differs, and fundamentally how technology plays a role in that:

  • more exposed to new technology and see the benefit of being more connected -- and are comfortable with it (through mobile, text msging, video chat)
  • creating tech innovators and entrepreneurs
  • changing careers paths and jobs and influence
  • more social aspects being built into products, staying less at one job
  • used to age of data -- you can get whatever you need quickly, and short attention span means if you can't find it now, you move on, and more social connected and social through facebook, Bebo, AIM, MySpace
Nice job, Mark. Keep up the good work. Here's Mark's web site and his blog.

- Dean

No comments: