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Millennials - is there anything they can't do?
Between sending the demand for smashed avocado skyrocketing and not affording houses, it seems Gen Y is a bit of a wayward generation… or are they?
“Bloody millennials,” we often hear. “Lazy, no work ethic… something something avocado!” It’s all getting a bit tired at this point. The generation that grew up with unprecedented connectivity and technological advancement in the home often gets a bad rap. The digital natives who’d rather Snapchat with a business than call them directly (or heaven forbid, visit the bricks and mortar store - don’t you guys have a website?). The generation that wants, nay, expects, everything yesterday. And for the love of all that is holy, make sure your technology does what it’s supposed to. Millennial patronage depends on it.
Millennials are, generally speaking, disruptors. As a generation, they embody cornerstones of entrepreneurial success by nature, and it is showing in their business endeavours.
Now, this is not to say that millennials are going to stomp on in and literally ruin Christmas - it’s just that the idea of something always having been done a certain way is not a deterrent to shaking shit up, transforming pillars of commerce and communication as we know them.
Reinventing the digital space is not off-limits, either - take question-and-answer site Quora, for example. Co-founded by former Facebook employees (and certified high-achieving millennials!) Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever, this platform took elements of services we have already - online forums exist for any conceivable topic - and developed a highly accessible, information-rich hub for people to get real insight from experts around the world. It boasts 190 million unique users per month.
Millennials’ drive to stay in touch with everyone, at all times, is a driving force that can spell success for their ventures.
Our research has revealed that high affiliation - that is, a motivation to connect with people and feel part of a group - is a boon to early stage startup.
Technology has given us a window into a world where things can be done with increasing speed and ease, and the millennial seeks to apply this principle wherever possible - and it leads to great business ideas.
Take Michelle Phan, for example. She’s a bona-fide YouTube sensation, with makeup tutorials and reviews that reach millions of people. She is doing what people have done since the dawn of time: impart knowledge of their interests and talk about things they like. Her real genius, however, is in her multi-stage leveraging of her committed, ever-growing audience. She began selling her own makeup line and eventually developed Ipsy - an affordable, fun makeup subscription service that is worth an estimated $500 million US.
Millennials have grown up in a difficult climate. Housing in many of the world’s major cities has skyrocketed to prices completely out of reach for most, and many have given up (or deferred) the traditional adulthood dreams of home ownership. Add to that a crazy job market, wherein we have some of the most highly educated un-or-underemployed candidates ever, and that’s a hotbed of fundamental life goals that just ain’t going to plan.
However, if there’s one thing that entrepreneurs face (over and over) it is failure. Rejection is pretty much inevitable in early stage ventures, and millennials tend to hold a very helpful resilience in the face of things not going quite their way… put simply, they keep trying, rolling with the punches that come along.
With technology practically an extension of their body, an innate understanding of how it can be applied in driving innovation, change and making money, is a force of many an entrepreneurial millennial. According to the 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report, Millennials launch companies at double the rate of Baby Boomers - eight versus three-to-four. They are starting younger, with less capital, and slowly but surely building our future world… just don’t mention smashed avocado.