When we look at our previous generations, it seems like they were so primitive. The once celebrated days of the horse carriages and steam engines are seen as prehistoric and ancient. Elon musk states that even cars of today would be considered outlawed or dangerous. But Entrepreneurship is timeless and Millennials are simply getting started in business faster and more forcefully than previous generations. After studying, interacting with, and befriending hundreds of the world’s smartest, most talented, and also most down-to-Earth young entrepreneurs, non-profit founders and early start-up employees, following are the reasons to believe that the Millennials generation are capable of being superhuman entrepreneurs.
It’s no secret that we have more computing power in our pockets today than we had to put man on the moon back in 1969. What is interesting is that, due to increasing levels of unrestricted and ubiquitous access to information globally, younger soon-to-be entrepreneurs are becoming more and more quickly equipped to know about major consumer challenges in the market, possible competitors racing to deliver solutions to those problems, and the technical know-how needed to provide such a solution at higher quality, speed, or experience levels than those other customers, meaning we are seeing more young people start businesses to seize opportunities!
Unrestricted access to information, marketplaces, and therefore opportunities allows Millennials to be superhuman and start businesses before they are even allowed to drive, vote, or drink.
Elevated consumer savviness
With unrestricted access comes the most savvy consumers the world has ever seen. As a shopper, whether it is for cereal or cars, ever-present amounts of information lead us to make smarter purchasing decisions (on average) than past generations. Before buying something, it is easy to check for an easier price, confirm high levels of quality via Yelp or a Google search, and perhaps even find out more about the intricacies of a product from a Kickstarter page, company specs leaked online, or technical blogs.
Since many entrepreneurs “scratch their own itch” and start businesses to create something they wanted as a solution to their problems, Millennials leading companies are fully aware of the level of quality they need to deliver in all aspects of their companies in order to pass their own standards for consumer readiness. The results are better user experiences, more intuitive business practices, and savvier solutions for savvier Millennial consumers. This attention to detail helps Millennials be superhuman entrepreneurs when applied correctly.
Higher levels of empathy
In a more connected world, we get to see more people for who they actually are, whether we get more “touch points” with others through various social media networks or whether they “open up” to us more from behind a computer screen or phone rather than in person. Higher levels of empathy that we are developing on a daily basis, through iterative information screening that comes from newly developed “information overload” Millennials subject ourselves to actually allow us to better perceive which signals for various emotions online are stronger.We can use these to better listen to potential customers, discover underlying challenges in our communication with others, and even manage a team of people remotely because we can sense how they feel as if they were in the room with us.
When Canadian college student Brittany McMillan noticed teens on Tumblr had committed suicide due to being bullied for their sexuality, she channelled and proliferated her empathy for these people to strangers from around the world, enticing them to turn their social media accounts purple for a day of supporting LGBT youth, Spirit Day, which mobilized tens of millions of people, celebrities, and corporations each year to go purple for the cause. Not only can Millennials empathize more than other generations it appears, but they also know how to spread that empathy virally, making for great entrepreneurial leaders within our generation.
Collaborative (instead of competitive) mindsets
Gen X, the group of people between eerily similar Baby Boomer and Millennial generations, represents a “me” generation. Growing up in an arms race to get the best education, corporate job, stock market or equity positioning before the financial and tech bubbles burst, and similar races to “keep up with the Jones” made our parents more financially-focused and introspective compared to Millennials who are redefining success as not simply monetarily in nature, and are instead collaborating more to reach their goals rather than aim to out compete everyone.
As an entrepreneur, collaboration is crucial, be it with investors, early team members who look to you for leadership and vision, or other entrepreneurs in your realm who can provide introductions, support, and friendship during challenging times. For a generation naturally inclined to collaborate instead of directly compete, superhuman entrepreneurship becomes more possible, exciting, and mutually beneficial for all involved.
No other choice
While Millennials aren’t “screwed” as Google’s auto suggest drop down would state if you typed “Millennials are” into the globally favored search engine, we are facing many challenges ahead. Student debt is crippling learners around the world, and higher education as an institution is under serious scrutiny. Environmental concerns are piling up, and we near the inevitable moment when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence, at which point we can leverage the computing power to solve many of our problems, or allow the same technology to turn against us and eliminate humanity.
With endless amounts of difficult, urgent challenges ahead, Millennials have no choice but to become superhuman entrepreneurs and create new technologies, businesses, and ideas that will save our existence. We must count on Millennials to break down barriers and change the world, supporting them at any and all levels, whether you parent a Millennial, employ a Millennial, or have the responsibility of marketing to our generation and offering solutions to our everyday problems. With that support, we will continue seeing younger, wiser, and more impactful young entrepreneurs doing incredible things and pushing the world forward, one innovation at a time.