Millenials have grown up and they’re now the old fogies of the entrepreneurial world. They’re now completely entrenched in corporate culture. They’ve made their waves and it’s now time to step aside and look to the next generation.
What is the next generation? The common name we call them is Generation Z. But let’s replace that with a new term.
I’d like to call Generation Z “The Founders.”
While our generation is busy undoing pretty much everything previous generations have done (for better or for worse), the Founders will quietly and quickly re-build the foundations of our society.
And we’re already seeing some rumblings of that revolution right now. Entrepreneurs are becoming younger and younger thanks to the ubiquity of the internet.
This is why it’s wise to sit up and pay attention. Move aside Millenials cause here come The Founders.
The Founders Say “Screw That!”
Each generation’s choices shape the next generations actions. Each generation reacts to the last generations mistakes or hardships.
The world Millenials grew up in stacked the deck against them and yet they succeeded marvelously. But The Founders see the struggles of their parents and siblings and say “screw it, we’re making our own way.”
Why? Because Millenials got the necessary degrees but entered the job market right after the great recession. This meant that finding a job in your field was difficult and that earning a living wage was even harder.
Saddled with debt, Millenials found themselves working harder to climb the ladder and get out of debt. And many Millenials, despite stereotypes, actually tried traditional routes to success.
Today Millenials are moving to non-traditional work environments and they’re freelancing more. Over 30% of the workforce are now freelancers.
This is a recent development. And The Founders are most likely to follow suit.
But they may not enter the workforce with so much debt.
Online opportunities for education are abundant and cheap. Cheaper than the major university degrees Millenials earned.
You can become a programmer for next to nothing. And if you are talented, you can join the ranks of Google and other major tech companies with only experience under your belt.
This is the new path The Founders are forging it. Let’s look at some of the newest entrepreneurial members in our world.
1. Ishan Goel
According to Ishan Goel’s LinkedIn, the young entrepreneur has already consulted for over 25 startups. He’s also worked with organizations as large as Frito Lays and has marketed for the Ted Cruz campaign.
But what’s truly remarkable about Ishan is the fact he started his career in Middle School.
The blinding fast world of the internet propelled Ishan beyond what most people achieve in their lifetime. And this kid doesn’t look old enough to even buy vape juice let alone drink.
When asked how he managed to grow his network so quickly, he touts his photography skills. And no, he wasn’t just taking Instagram photos on his iPhone, he means actual DSLR photography.
He marketed his photography skills through his Instagram and other channels and used his growing network to make connections. He says that once he made those connections the networking never stopped. It essentially became seamless.
He claims that marketing for his own generation is where it’s at. Sure, Millennials are the largest consumer body right now, but Founders will eventually overtake that market.
He believes that old methods of marketing won’t work with Founders. You have to capture their attention immediately or they will just click away to something else.
His motto for how to market to Founders? “Make it clear, make it fun, and make it simple.”
2. Nick D’Aloisio App Developer
If you were born after 1992 or so, you’re most likely a Founder. Nick D’Aloisio is an early Founder born in 1995. He was only six when the Twin Towers fell.
But he has already sold his first app…to Yahoo! And he was 17 when he did it.
How much did he sell it for? $30 million freakin’ dollars. That 17-year-old is set for life, especially if he invested it all in Bitcoin.
And recently, shares in Sphere Knowledge, D’Aloisio’s company, sit at a comfortable $11.8 million.
After leaving Yahoo! two years ago, he went on to study computer science and philosophy at Oxford. He’s even published several major academic papers.
But what did this Founder build that Yahoo found so valuable?
Sphere Knowlege is an app that gives people the ability to talk to experts instantly about any topic. It’s immediately interactive. And the experts are actually paid well.
The difference between this and say Quora or other “expert” websites is the high standard and bar of entry set to determine an expert. Sphere uses both computer learning and human curation to pick experts. And then they pay them better than any other platform.
Among his other accomplishments, he also became an entrepreneur in residence at Airbnb, was awarded “Innovator of the Year” by the Wall Street Journal and was included in Time Magazine’s “Top 100.”
The Founders Are Our Future
Each generation must decide how it will manage the world left behind by the previous. I’m an unwavering optimist, especially when it comes to generational success. I believe that if we rally around the next generation rather than maligning them, we will see an incredible world reborn for our grandchildren.
People like Ishan and Nick will take the tools we’ve built and make them better. They’ll take what we’ve torn down and make something new.
If you see a Founder succeeding at something, take the time to encourage them. They will build our future.