In an article I recently read, Eliza Kern stated that most 20-somethings nowadays are reluctant to pay for things online, such as Netflix and online newspapers. This is because they can get the content through friends’ and parents’ subscriptions. The more I thought about this, the more I realized it was true. There are quite a few people that use my Netflix account and everyone in my family uses the same Hulu Plus account. My mother cancelled our DirecTV because we watch everything online. And not many of my friends pay for online newspapers because we can find the same content for free elsewhere.
So, what does that mean for the future? When my generation becomes real adults, will our online habits change the internet? I know that business have to make money, therefore things will have to be bought and paid for, but what else will change?
College students, and college-aged kids, don’t like paying for things because we’re mostly poor. However, once we get jobs and start our careers and get to the point where we CAN pay for things, will we want to? I doubt it. We may pay for the things we want, but if we don’t feel the need then it probably won’t happen.
And what about the next generation? The one that’s never waited for dial-up, heard the phrase “You’ve got mail” in person, or had the satisfying experience of slamming the land line down in anger. These kids have been surrounded by smart phones and wireless internet since day one. Will they want to pay for anything? Probably not. This leads me to wonder what’s going to happen in the next 20-40 years.
You wouldn’t think that Amazon.com has anything to do with advertising. They just sell stuff at awesome prices, right? This may be true, but that’s not the only way they make their money. Amazon has the best the technology when it comes to linking ads to the right customers. Facebook and Google do the same thing, but Amazon does it better. The track what you look at, what you rate and what you buy, and then they tailor the ads you see to fit what you enjoy. That may sound a little stalkerish, but if I’m going to be forced to look at ads the whole time, I’d like for them to be about things I’m interested in and like.
Although Amazon doesn’t really talk about it, they have the ability to change the face of advertising. But no one likes a bragger.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. And for the rest of your life. It’s happening, folks. The cellular world is going Wi-Fi. The brain behind the master plan, David Morken, was a family man with a large phone bill. Surely there must be a better way? It’s a work in progress and it’s called Republic Wireless. This bad boy allows your phone calls and texts to be transmitted through Wi-Fi, and if on the off chance you’re under a rock and no longer have access to technology’s sweet ambrosia, then the service will switch to a Sprint network. All this for *drum roll please* $19 a month.
Now, having gotten your hopes up, let’s be clear: work in progress. Right now the service is only available on one phone with a small screen and the calls drop. However, Morken has a diabolical plan that will rock the cellular world to its core.
Change is coming, ladies and gents. Change is coming.
Since Hollywood has been stepping into the tech world, most people can link the name Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook and Steve Jobs with Apple. However, have you ever stopped to wonder who was responsible for Twitter? In case you were wondering, you can thank Jack Dorsey. A quiet kid who was happier sitting alone in his room with his police scanner, maps and trains, Dorsey was never an outgoing guy. He taught himself how to create computer programs and he combined this hobby with his admiration for the short bursts of coded conversation that he heard on his scanner. Here was the birth of Twitter.
After being forced out of his own company, Dorsey brainstormed with a friend and developed the idea of the Square. A small white box that plugs into your smartphone or iPad, allowing small businesses and artists to sell their products wherever they are. In today’s society of instant gratification, this is genius.
After falling in love with NYC, Dorsey wants to live there at some point and possibly run for mayor. For someone who isn’t big on face-to-face conversation, his communication skills would definitely need a little polishing. Although, isn’t it almost time for a virtual leader?
17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio is in the process of changing mobile technology. His app, Summly, is used to summarize articles found on the internet into small paragraphs that can be read on your cell phone. This is great for people who don’t necessarily want to read the whole article, or who want to know more than just the headline before clicking on the link.
London native Nick was not expecting this much attention, but he was hoping for it. Having sent a ridiculous amount of emails to tech journalists, Nick was determined to share his project with the world. After finally catching the attention of a Hong Kong billionaire, Nick was saddled with more than he bargained for. Now, he’s a full-time employee for Yahoo while still trying to graduate high school. Yahoo bought his technology for $30 million, which Nick plans on saving for future projects.
This kid’s persistence and passion are to be admired. He was rejected on countless occasions and still he pushed on because he believed in what he was doing. Not many 17-year-olds have that kind of determination. Although, if they knew that $30 million was waiting at the end of race, they might find the motivation.
Honestly, no one knows for sure whether or not their pursuits will pay off. The trick is to keep trying and hope for the best. Like Nick.
What 20-something thinks about insurance? Not many. After being bombarded with credit cards, school loans, college expenses and struggling to find a new career, most young people don’t even consider medical insurance unless they’re on their parents’ plan. HCC Medical Insurance knew that this was the target audience they wanted, but how could they possibly appeal to that age group? Simple. They called to our sense of adventure.
HCC knew that regular medical insurance wasn’t something that would interest a 23-year-old. So, using the fact that they sell travel insurance, HCC focused on the desire for adventure. Backpacking through foreign countries, skiing, snowboarding, strange food…all of these things invite injury and/or sickness. Unless the kid is rich, he or she is gonna need some insurance so they don’t end up working as a maid/stable boy for the next 3 years to pay off a medical bill.
Using social media in its campaign, HCC incorporated videos, graphics and articles about things that young people would to travel safely, like what to pack and how to make sure you’re ready. The results were staggering, giving the company a 96% sales increase.
Most people like to see Facebook and Twitter as a way to keep in touch with friends and share your life with others. However, more and more businesses are realizing that social media is the key to really connecting with their customers. This is the direct link between opinions and actions. People like being listened to, and this is way of allowing that to happen. Social media is definitely a key player in the future of the business world.
Kickstarter is a website that allows creative projects to be funded by people all over the world. Have a movie you want to make; a book you want to write? Put your project on Kickstarter and if people like the idea, they’ll donate money. It could be $1 or $100, but as any artist will tell you: every little bit helps.
Kickstarter has been getting a lot of flack from people that have been turned down. Why would a growing website turn customers away? Because they’re staying true to their beliefs, which is difficult to do when people are throwing money in your face. Certain projects are not allowed because the group believes in being eco-friendly. Yup, that’s right. These three guys are tossing aside millions because some projects are not healthy for the environment. And since they don’t plan on selling the company or taking it public, they can pretty much do whatever they want.
The notion is admirable, but how much will it hurt them in the long run? Hopefully not much. If more people focus on eco-friendly projects then the website shouldn’t suffer as much as people think. Eco-friendly is becoming a big thing and if Kickstarter sticks to its convictions and profits from them, then maybe similar companies will behave the same way. This will force the public to focus on greener pastures, so to speak. That wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing.
Creativity and originality are two traits that are becoming more and more desired in a society where everyone wants to stand out. The question is: how can you optimize your creativity?
Your creativity is like a muscle. Work it out to make it stronger. So, how does one do that? Well, here are a few ways:
1. Take a time-out
In a world that thrives on its connectedness, sometimes you just need to disconnect and zone out. Take a walk, sit somewhere inspiring, allow your mind to wander free from distractions, appointments, day planners and Facebook notifications.
2. Use the past to create your future
Don’t be afraid to look into your past in order to open up your creativity. Know and understand the history of your field. Do you need to know the birthdays of famous artists in order to be a good painter? No. But understanding the work of the pioneers that paved the way for your preferred art…that is what will help you. The past is the foundation on which you build your future. Use it.
3. “Be masterful”
Don’t be afraid of your knowledge, but at the same time you must also make sure to have experience in your field. All the art books in the world won’t help you learn how to paint. It takes practice, dedicated, and a desire to see beyond what’s in front of you. This is where originality comes into play. Being able to connect the dots between two seemingly unconnected things is what sparks the idea for monumental discoveries. They say to think outside the box, and as cliche as that sounds, it’s true. Don’t just use the wine bottle for wine and then throw it away. Dress it up and use it as a vase. Put white Christmas lights inside of it and use it as lighting decoration. Cut it in half and use it as a bottle.
See beyond what’s in front of you. THAT is how you become more creative.
In the days of land lines and fax machines, businesses and big companies could hide their dealings behind closed doors and pay-offs. However, in today’s society of smart phones and Skype, it’s a little more difficult to hide anything. Companies cannot just rely on advertising anymore, they actually have to back it up. Companies that are battling negative PR, such as Exxon and Bank of America, are having to fight even harder to push through those bad images.
This is a great turn of events of consumers. Businesses will now be forced to treat customers with respect because one wrong move can turn into a viral video. Just ask Fed-Ex. Customers are becoming more protective of themselves and their rights, and they’re not afraid to voice bad experiences. Articles are popping up everyday about a offensive names printed on receipts, packages being thrown against doors, mean workers degrading customers, etc. And these incidents aren’t being exposed by undercover cops or private investigators. They’re being uncovered by everyday people who are outraged at the way they’re being treated.
No company is safe. If you have interaction with the public in any way, you are in danger of actually being held responsible for your actions.