Pepsi vs. Coke, Microsoft vs. Apple, Generation X vs. Generation Y (Millennials), do you see where I am going with this?
Before continuing, let me share a story with you.
Back when I was starting to help out in my dad’s business, we had a clash of ideas. On one hand, I felt that the old ways of doing things were not appropriate for the changing business climate. But my dad had a different view, he maintains that his way works, hence we should follow him.
For obvious reasons, we could never work together. So, when I decided to leave, he agreed that it is best for me to carve my own path.
In many ways, the clash of the old and the new is the same as a typical working environment. Full of ideas and eager to prove themselves, the younger generation finds the resistance to change suffocating.
The Boomers may control the economy, but the Millennials are coming of age. It would not be long now before they take over the world. Between the two is Generation X, of which I belong to.
Once they were the future, but the inevitable arrived when on 2015, the number of Millennials in the workforce surpassed Generation X.
As the Boomers fade away, so too will my generation as we step aside for the Millennials.
The people from my generation have a lot to say about the Millennials. It is as if the stereotype were born out of survival instinct. As such, not everything is true.
For instance, some would say that Millennials are cocky and so full of themselves. But when I look back to the past, we were once like that too. So, how on earth is it the fault of Millennials?
Another impression is that Millennials seem to focus on travel. As a matter of fact, a Harris Group study showed over 70% of Millennials choose experience over material things. Travel is all about experience, and due to the affordability and convenience, why should Millennials not travel?
As the world changes, no one is more adept at adapting to the changes than the younger generation. In that sense, it is to the benefit of my generation to understand the Millennials.
In a working environment, harmony is the key to peak performance. How could there be harmony when there is the constant clash of generational differences? While true at times, but in most cases, it is really about the pride of the old and the youthful brashness of the Millennials.
The Changing Business Climate
In the USA, Trump (or Tramp as others would prefer) talked about bringing back jobs to America. That is easier said than done.
Cross-border e-commerce has allowed US companies such as Amazon to flourish. At the same time, it has allowed Americans access to cheaper services. For instance, imagine how much more expensive mobile phone charges would be, were it not for outsourcing customer support to the Philippines?
On the other side of the world, the growth of the BPO industry has provided jobs for millions of people in India and the Philippines. Often, BPO companies offer a better salary compensation than other businesses.
While paying cheap rates by their standards, western companies could offer lower pricing for their products and services, which benefits the great majority of the population.
Meanwhile, due to the low standard of living, people working in the BPO industry are earning more money.
Technology as Lifestyle
Like it or not, people need money to buy technology products. In my generation, the world was a much simpler place to live in. While we view technology as a tool, Millennials view technology as a lifestyle.
And that is a good thing, for companies and businesses, that is. Look at how big the mobile gaming industry today is. Businesses know Millennials are in for the experience, and to tap into that market, they use the experience as a hook to entice people to purchase.
As business now spans the globe with outsourcing and cross-border e-commerce, there is a generation of people who now have access to money. To get a share of the pie, company’s market experience today more than ever.
Steve Jobs was a genius who recognize the motivation of the Millennials. When Apple started releasing a series of products beginning with the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, he marketed these products as a way of life.
Today, almost everyone has access to a smartphone. When taking into consideration the ease of getting a credit card, access to a better paying job, it is not hard to see how spending using mobile device continue to increase.
When you look at startups today, a lot of them are into technology. Every day, there are new apps released. A lot of companies are making it easy for their customers by giving them access to a mobile app. But all in all, the largest spending remains in-app purchases for games.
Even casinos are getting into the mobile platform. While land-based casinos are profitable, they are also restrictive. Online, the market is huge, hence they have casino games that give great playing experience. Rather than spending on in-app purchases, some people can earn money by playing online casino games, and have fun while doing so.
Shopping has never been easier, as more and more people are using their phone to compare prices and before purchasing from an online store.
Change Is Coming
Millennials live with technology, that is indisputable. The same technology that gave rise to opportunities is also the same that causes one to spend.
If there is one thing I know, then it is that the future is not set in stone. Once the Millennials have taken over, it is their time to adapt to new changes. Either they do and flourish, or refuse and they step aside early to the newcomers.
But change is not easy, as proven by the Boomers before me, and my generation. If Millennials will not adapt to Generation X, then how could they adapt to the next one?
Today, the world is in the palm of their hands. One day it will slip away too.