Gen Y the Throw Away Generation?

- September 25, 2011 2 MIN READ

“Today’s young entrepreneurs have unbridled self-belief. This is not so much hubris as a bratty sense of entitlement.” – This is how a recent article by Leo D’Angelo Fisher started in a recent special list issue of BRW Magazine. It is important to note that it was part of a page where two reporters had differing opinions on the young entrepreneurs of today, and was most probably designed to provoke a reaction with the cross section of readers the magazine has.

The article basically makes the point that generation Y take a lot of things for granted, and that we are so caught up in the moment that we could never use history and experience as a road map to guide us in business as our older entrepreneurial counterparts do. Leo D’Angelo Fisher also despairs that so many of “tomorrow’s leaders’ don’t understand our system of government and that we are proud of our ignorance.

Life has changed a lot over the last 10 years, there is a reason we have to live life in the moment and that is because today, that’s how the world works. Our Baby Boomer bosses want bigger and better results faster, so Gen X and Y have had to learn to deliver this. The advantage that Gen Y have had over Gen X in the last 10 years is we have been able to intimately study the Baby Boomer generation who are predominately our parents. Those history lesson’s that our Baby Boomer entrepreneurial counterparts look back and reflect upon for guidance, we have lived through them.

We may have only been young at the time, but we were all very observant to those conversations about finances, struggling business and marketing strategies whilst we sat there playing with our Lego. We saw the lessons first hand,  our parents were the people going through them – that’s why these days entrepreneurs choose to start up and fail quickly – it minimises our losses and allows us to bounce back faster.

We also are a more open generation, we don’t play our cards so close to our chest like our parents did, we understand the advantages of asking smart and dumb questions and the power of collaboration and sharing the pie around. We realise that by being less greedy in the short term – we are better off in the long term. Rich for us is also not just about the dollars. Time is money, has taken on a new meaning – if we can earn a comfortable amount doing less, than this is a great achievement and we would rather be off enjoying NOW rather than being a slave to our own venture.

As for the government – Jeez – don’t get me started. Is it any wonder we are disengaged. In business those that don’t keep moving forward get left behind, and that is exactly what is happening with our political system. The major parties aren’t exactly so major in our eyes – just like any big businesses that don’t change with the times, the two parties will go under if they don’t step up to the plate and evolve their policies and belief systems to align with the next generation. It is less us being “proud of our ignorance” and more a case of us being ashamed of theirs.

The throw away Generation? Hardly.