Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business with Jason Dorsey


Jason. Save up to fire nation and share. Something interesting about yourself that most people don't know sure what's up. Fire nation thrilled to be here with you. Huge fan fire nation. Everything about something that most people don't know about me is. I wrote my first book when i was eighteen years old and it was so successful. I ended up sleeping on the floor of a garage apartment with five thousand books that i had printed thinking somebody was going to buy them instead. They were furniture. So a bed of books means you're not selling as many books as you want to fire nation but guess what jason's grown he's matured and right. Now he's rocking z. Konami which is all about generation z. And how gen z is going to change the future of business. So i kind of want to start a few steps back jason. Because i'm just curious like how does one get into studying generations wide. Did that interest you. And why did you get into it. Yeah share well that. I book that i wrote when i was eighteen at ended up not selling it first and then becoming a real big bestseller and i started speaking all around the world and i ended up on sixty minutes and i was on. That show is all about millennials. And i'd written a bunch of books and started a company and everything was going great but after that show i started speaking all these corporate executives who are now our primary clients but i was speaking all these exact and he would say such terrible things about millennials and i am a millennial pretty fended lazier titled your pants or fall off. You live with your mom and all this stuff. And i'm like well. No actually. I have my own house in our own office building in my parents worked for me and my pants are on very snugly. Thank you very much. And so so after that i remembered Clear as day. I was in this boardroom. Big public company and the ceo had said Some things about millennial employees. That i just i didn't fully believe and i'd spoken about half a million millennials at that time and so i asked him because i didn't know any better. Now i serve on lots of corporate boards. You know one of the couples on sold for eleven billion dollars. I live in this world now. But back then i didn't i didn't i didn't know and it was really a set up for success so i asked him i said is there any way i can see your data about millennials because you say the turnovers hiring. They're not as engaged and on and on i. I love to understand better. So i can conceptualize it and maybe help also for so. There are a lecture or whatever so they sent the data to me. And the data didn't match with the ceo had just said in the boardroom which basically never happened. Ceo's don't go off the cuff in front of their boards prickly a private publicly-held company like that. So i asked my wife who has a phd. I said denise you know this is. The strangest thing was just in this room with this pretty famous. Ceo they said all these things with great conviction then. I looked at the data and the data doesn't match what they just said. I said what do you think we should do. And she looked at me and she says we start a research for. She's up because if they don't even know their own data if we can help them to understand their data make better decisions and we can really great copy and help lots of peoplesoft. Lots of challenges and so. That's how we got into this thirteen years ago. We founded the center for generational kinetics. We lead research all around the world for many of the biggest brands in the world. And all about separating generational myth from truth through data so leaders can make great decisions whether you're a startup or venture capital or your bootstrapping yet or you're in a big public company getting accurate data and being able to make decisions based on that increases the likelihood of success de risk strategies. That you're looking at drives innovation and so forth and we found that generations in particular or one area where there was just so much myth and so much misinformation and if we gave people great information that it could take action and that was incredibly exciting. We've had seven hundred clients since then which is pretty wild and done studies all around the world and just love it absolutely it now. Your ceo is just flat out wrong when it came to millennials and you had the data to back it up. Did you ever go back to him. And just be like joe burrow. Check us out. you're wrong in also my pants. They're pretty snug. Check them out. I know that was a quiet. But i really do credit him and i if it wasn't such a negative story i would say what company is because it's really big famous company but But no but. I do believe that he something that we saw frequently. Which is the idea that generations older generations. Think of millennials through the lens of their kids or their grandkids and so that that becomes a proxy for the whole generation. And in fact when we wrote the economy book new book. What we found is the same thing was happening again and there was all this misinformation and it just wasn't true and that's why we spent less two years right in the book is because we've got to clear this up because when people have the wrong impression about an entire generation it leads to so many problems for everybody. Everybody loses so no. I never never corrected him on it. But i do give him credit for sparking the idea. I'm glad that you do give them credit for sparking that idea because sometimes fire nation. Is those things you just like you know. I'm not just quite sure about that. Let me look into it. They can really uncover some great opportunities in one thing. That i think is a huge problem in this world in general and especially when you're talking about generations is just regurgitation. You'll hear one person on one talk. Show say one thing. And then you'll regurgitate it. And then somebody else regurgitates regurgitation and like seven layers down. You're like how'd you hear that. They're like oh. I don't really know like somebody just mentioned it and like now you're speaking it like it's the truth and it's just regurgitation of what you know is something that has no data to back it up. So what most people get wrong jason when it comes to generations break that down for us shared. There's a few things that jump out. The first is this belief. Generations are a box or stereotype and that is absolutely not true. We're generational researchers. This is what we do more than sixty five generational studies and what we see is generations are not a box but what they really are powerful clues and as long as we used them as clues and only clues to dry faster connection trust and influence in create all kinds of positive outcomes. We don't wanna put people in boxes. We wanna use this as clues. So we can figure out how to better lead market sell collaborate innovate and so forth. And when you sort of at that level people seem to really embrace it because it just gives them another lens to better connect. So i think the first is people think. Generations are boxes or stereotypes. And they're not in fact. Our clues are driven by math. We look for what's called predictability by scenario so that's the first thing that people i think it wrong. The second is this idea that generations are the same around the world. Now one of the things that we've uncovered repeatedly in our work. We publish all this on our website. Is that generations vary by geography so for example in the us will see differences between urban and rural within the same generation. And that i work a lot outside the us and we'll see differences. Has we travel around the world and that's important because if you're a global company or frankly a global brand fire nation is you want to make sure that you really representing each of the different geographies. And what makes them different now. One cool thing that we've uncovered and we talk a lot about this bunches. Economy is the most consistent generation the world. now that doesn't mean exactly the same but the most similar generation the world is now gen z. Gnc's about twenty three twenty four years old. The oldest and the reason the most similar is because of cheap mobile technology so if you live in different countries around the world you might even get your phone for free as long as you use it for payment. Think about it started using a text. Payer sort of like a mobile credit card in different parts of the world and because we've driven the cost of a mobile down solo basically two zero in many places now. All the sudden young people around the world are having access to entertainment news information dating banking on and on and on and as a result of that. We're seeing a lot more similarities. As i travel all around the world the younger you get but interestingly the older you get even to gen xer baby boomers from a different planet as you travel around the world. So that's something people get wrong. And then the last thing that i think people get wrong. And is they have to deal with a bunch. Is people confuse life. Stage or age with generation. So for example jen's is now twenty four but when we do studies and ask people how do you think the average millennial is they'll say twenty five as if we didn't keep getting older you never talking about millennials for fifteen years. Say there they're now forty. I think that's a board it because you stay in the saying generation but you pass through different life stages and frequently people confuse the two and it's very important to understand the difference because if you're trying to market or employer build a business that targets different groups generations gives you all these clues but we got to distinguish between the generation which travels up right at ages up baby boomers for teenagers versus life. Stage for example high school or college which are still pretty similar ages as they have been for the last four years and so knowing. The difference helps you to understand that. Yes really interesting. How people always confuse age with generations. And how that all goes. I mean you know. I was just talking to a friend the other day literally. He's in his late thirties. I'm in my late thirties. And he's just going off and riffing about jenner. How millennials or just entitled and all this stuff and it looks like you know where millennials. He's like oh no. I'm definitely not a millennial mike. Well we're we're like the oldest millennials millennials. And he's like well. I need to look at that. And so it was funny. He came back. We know there's actually a lot of great things about millennials and he's now like listing off all the good things because he now is identifying himself as a millennial so it's really interesting fire nation and yes. We do get older. That is what happens to all generations and all human beings foreshore. And we're gonna die something. I'm pretty excited about as soon as we get back from our break which is about how generational work is actually going to solve challenges for both entrepreneurs that's you fire nation and companies as well as soon as we get back think is the best platform to create market and sell your own online courses in. We speak from personal experience. 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C dot com slash buyer looking for business. Coach was helped thousands of entrepreneurs just like you to increase profitability by an average of one hundred percent per year all for less money than would cost a higher a fulltime at minimum wage employee fire nation meets clay. Clark klay has been coaching businesses. Like yours since two thousand six yep even through the great recession and he does it for less money than would cost a hire a full time minimum wage employees at a time when inc magazine reports that by default ninety six percent of businesses will fail within ten years claes helping businesses like yours to grow on average by one hundred and four percent annually. Houses even possible clayton only takes on one hundred and sixty clients so he personally designed your business plan. Plus cleese team helps you execute that plan with access to graphic designers. 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It's an extremely passionate about and what we're seeing much of the opportunity being created today has a generational trend or thesis. It's the adoption of new technology new solutions or bringing a different way to look at old problems and when that happens that's where both change and frustration and challenge and frankly companies go out of business but it's also wear new opportunities are created so i'm speaking with entrepreneurs and working with entrepreneurs were trying to look at what are millennials and particularly gen z. Doing right now that you might want to be able to build a business around or leverage as their pine power influence increases so for the first time what we're seeing is technology trends are rippling from the youngest to the oldest and that's a huge shift. It used to be from the oldest more affluent down to the youngest. But now we're seeing younger. People are actually driving tech adoption up to the older but the key as an entrepreneur mississippi that we coach entrepreneurs about is being able to sort of step out of your generation and look at it through the lens of another generation. it's what we call generational contexts. One of the best ways to do that is actually bring members of that generation into the conversation. I can't tell you how many times i'm speaking at places. And they're asking me all these questions about millennials or gen z and. I'm like well. Why don't we invite some of them to the conversation. Let's talk to them. Uh let's actually talk with them. See what they say. Say get and so. I think when you look at bringing generational diversity into the workplace into innovation. You can solve all kinds of interesting challenges. I'll give example right now. What we're seeing is the gen z and even younger millennials. I talk about both of these in this economy book. They want a different on boarding experience. Obviously we're in this time of covert and all these changes but even before that what we saw is that the youngest generation wants to be on once on boarding to be by text message. Which sounds i know a little bit wild but there are companies. Do all of their on boarding through text message so you get semes- before you Short for your first day in alaska you just give you a simple example. This is in the book from coming called on border. When you they'll send a text message and it'll say what's your favorite snack three o'clock when your energy starts to go down. Do you have a favorite sports team are causing all this sort of stuff and the is when you show up for your first day. Or they'll even now senator gift baskets to your house. They'll have all your favorite snacks ready for you on your show up because they already know because you put in your text message or the. Have your favorite sports team. Or they'll find the best place that you wanna go eat or have that food delivered so they're engaging you by text message in a process that generally used to be in person and frankly pretty terrible at most companies. There's another company that worked in with again. This is generational trend. They figured out how to pay all employees fifty percent of their wages every day at no cost. They're called instant and what they did. Is they basically said you get a text message or message on your phone after your shift. And it says hey. Would you like half your money today. Yes or no. If you click s you get your money. Will all the sudden now you have. An entire generation is growing so fast that thinks they should always be able to get half their paycheck. Every day will imagine how that changes so many other things and all the sudden other generations. What do they say well. This text messaging on boarding thing is pretty cool. You mean i can get paid every day. That's pretty awesome. I think i want that. To and all the sudden the generational trends creates huge businesses. And those are the types of things were seeing you know so much. Innovation is driven by other generations. This is the key they don't even think it's new or different when we interview them. They think you've always been able to do on boarding by text message because they never got on onboard before there was text messaging or if they've only worked at a place that gave them the ability to get paid every day. That's how they think everybody gets paid. And you know older generations. So i work with the frequently. Get defensive and they're like you know. The young generations are trying to change everything. And i'm like no. They're not this is just all they've ever known they don't know any differently. Change to them is actually doing what you're proposing and it's not about one being right or wrong. It's going we can. We can leverage us. We can adopt this and all the sudden on boardings better retention is higher engagement is higher in these types of things and you see it on the marketing side for those fire nation members who are really growing their businesses and they're more than sales marketing. Same exact deal and the idea is just recognizing this you're creating so much opportunity. We see this particularly with social media. We see this with podcast such as yours that this is a great way to engage younger generations who then index for talking about these things and driving awareness in referrals and excitement fire nation. So many things to take away here. One of my favorite things jayson broke down was specifically tech trends are rippling from the youngest. To the oldest. Like think about that shift. Think about that change. How the ripples actually going from the youngest to the oldest now which is a complete flip from how it used to be back in the day and one thing. I wanna really dial in on just because i'm personally curious and i think fire nation is to is this the up and coming generation now. Let's talk about generation z. Like who is generation z. And what do we need to know about them. Yeah absolutely so gen z. The key thing is that they're already twenty three or twenty four years old. So that's a good starting point and what we uncovered in our research and we publish. This is economy. Book is at gen. Z is the key thing we got all these research firms around the world to change their birth years. Gen z does not remember nine eleven and that is a huge deal because it's the biggest event for the millennial generation we call generation defining moment. But jesse doesn't remember it at all. They learned about it in school or heard about it from a parent or they watched the video on youtube. But it's not something they experienced and they're now twenty three twenty four years old so a huge event of the generation before they don't remember in fact they're they're covid nineteen is essentially their defining moment. This pandemic is the generation defining moment that they're gonna take with them and we talk about this a lot. So one thing is they. Don't remember kievan of a previous generation and the other is there. Cuban is happening right now. But what i think you're entrepreneurs will find super interesting is that we've been doing this. Study for the last five years called state of gen z and. It's our big study released every year. And what we've uncovered and we've seen it for five years in a row now is gen. Z is more practical or frugal with their money than previous generations. And this is shocking and when we dig into it what we find out is that gen z came of age around the great recession. And what do i mean by that. Their speakers are experts. Like you talked about earlier. This regurgitation people running around saying oh gen z struggled during the great recession in the workforce they were twelve and were not working right but instead what they did is. They saw their parents struggle. They heard their parents struggle. They know people lost their houses. They saw millennials drowning in student loan. Debt having back home a mom and dad and you put all that together and what you see is. They're very conservative or practical with their money. As a result they're driving double digit growth at stores. They like couponing they wanna know. They got a good deal. They want things to be a bargain. They want them to last a long time really have utility and what we see. The example. i'd like to give is a gen zero sixteen years old. We'll have a birthday party. They'll get fifty dollars. They're all excited it away. And then they'll go to their mom or their dad and say hey. Can i have fifty dollars. Wanna go buy something. Mom or dad will say but you just got fifty dollars. And they'll say oh. No that's my money your money. It's overseeing that so if you're trying to market to them you've got to understand their practicality with money we also see the gen z when we do values based research. What we find is for the last four years Their top concern was climate change. Or would they would call climate crisis in their own words. And so that's been the top that they've been looking for brand alignment and for entrepreneurs to get behind and so forth however in the last six months we are new study. Social justice has leapfrog. Climate changes their top issue. And it's significantly more now so all the sudden as you see the generation respond to events around them. You can sort of see how they're shaped so if you wanna make sure in line with their values you gotta know what their values are going. Even deeper on the employment side is people look to hire them. Gen z no is looking for stability. This one's this one's tougher for entrepreneurs. So i want to explain it. They're looking for stability in an employer. What do i mean by that. Gen z saw these layoffs. I heard the layoff. Seen millennials struggle and as a result they're looking for an employer that they view as stable. So it's interesting because they tend to automatically defined stability by being a big company. So they'll say. I want to work for a big company will say why and they well because they're stable and the truth is you and i both know that. Just because you're big company does not at all mean that you're stable and just because you're a small business doesn't mean that you're not stable so it's important that you message to them. We also found in our research is gen. Z is very much interested in benefits which is shocking given their age in fact two years ago. Twelve percent of gen z was already saving for retirement. Wow and yeah. That's crazy right and many of them already have an emergency savings account. These are eighteen year olds. That are taking up their phones showing us emergency savings accounts and it. Just it's such a different generation. I think the key here. Mrs so important for all the marketers who are listening our nation is at gen. Z is not millennials. Two point oh they are not millennials. Just more extreme. That's total bunk. People say that it is not true. Jesse is a completely different generation raised by different set of parents who has come of age only knowing social media it has always existed for them. That's why they trusted so much at the same time. They're more diverse than any previous generation. Different set of values different purchasing pathways. And now the key is they over index on influence because of how they use digital media and already twenty four years old fastest growing generation in the workforce today on a percentage basis. And they're gonna be the most important consumers to get right over the next ten to fifteen years. One thing that i assume and please correct me if i'm wrong. Because it's just an assumption but generation x. And millennials like this is like. I'm speaking of my generation's here that i cut kind of overlap. Both pretty closely. It's we came to like being seventeen eighteen years old and it came to money in debt. Just kind of close our eyes and kind of believed the rhetoric of. Hey you just have to go to college and it's going to be expensive and you're going to get college dad and that's okay and you're just going to be a paid off at some point in the future and now like millennials and gen xers just hammered with this dead. They can't payoff ten twenty even sometimes thirty years later because it was just brutal with the mountains of debt that people kind of blindly get into it. Seems from what you're saying. Generations not gonna kind of take that same approach in just blindly. Sign away their lives to this debt of secondary education in colleges and universities in the such. Is that true. Wow that is such an insightful. I mean you you are super pro do so yes. That is actually true What's interesting is when we studied student. Loan debt with millennials in particular. That's what we call an economic anchor. So what it's causing. It's actually causing millennials. Now this is wild to delay marriage kids and buying a home because of student loan debt and that has massive ramifications on all parts of the economy to everything from financial services whether or not. You're buying life insurance. You know the the homebuilding recovery like on and on we could keep going to income households. There's just there's so many things that are impact even ultimately the ability to take care of your parents later on so what we saw. Was that large student loans at delayed major life commitments which we which is what's happened as a result And by the way gen z will tell you they're not sure that if spending a whole bunch of money and college actually pays off his it remains to be seen right now for millennials. We were told. I'm a millennial. We were told getting the best college at an. Just get debt. And will all be worth it and then for a lot of it wasn't on the flipside. Gen z in our new. Study in this in this economy book because it's important to understand how thing about education gen z is trying to graduate from college with as little as possible ice which is super cold. They're also saying that they're looking. They're very interested in the employability of their career. So so if they go and they pursue a certain path. Am i going to be able to get a job in that path. Now by the way kobe. Nineteen has been a massive massive. You know challenge for that because there are people that were three or four years into college university you know. Maybe they're going to study retail merchandising. Well aren't hiring never hired for that role again or they studied. You know oil and gas and those aren't hiring whatever it is so all the sudden people who already had you know pretty heavy commitment are now realizing that that path isn't there for them but we are single. Gen z particularly during this experience. Right now is they're saying. Hey i want to make sure. I'm getting value for my education and raven seeing well if it's going to be online only i'd rather go to a community college or state school or somewhere else. Get some credits. And then i'll figure out. If i want to go back into the future maybe take a year off and then come back and so forth so there definitely much more conservative with debt when it comes to college university and by the way the other people who are more conservative are their parents boomers had to cosign on all those millennial loans just. That's my mom about it right. And that as a result for many millennials it was tough for them to pay it off on the flipside. Gen-x is going well. I don't know if it's worth it gen x. Gen z kids. You will not end up. Like those millennials so the that's also being weighed into the conversation now is college university worth it and then you add the layer of kobe. Nineteen is it worth it if it's nontraditional experience and you know i don't know the answer to that but it is something we're observing and now this is where it gets really interesting. So the oldest members of gen z. Those that are about eighteen to twenty four. They're bearing the brunt of this. Pandemic what i mean by that is in our latest study. That group was most likely more than any other generation to lose their job. Have a decrease in pay or have a shift in responsibilities meaning. They had to assume a job that they didn't sign up for where it gets interesting though is younger so my daughter is nine years old. Her name is russia Sushi is in fourth grade right now. She heard this is in the book in third grade. Her last end of the year project. Which i didn't know anything about Was she went and built a presentation. She built all and google sides. She built it all in spanish. She had animation. She presented it. She recorded it and then she uploaded to classroom and she thought that was completely normal. She's nine and then of course. You saw one of my powerpoint slides. He's not very good. So i say that because the younger members of gen z. This is the real twist here. They might end up turning this pandemic into a positive. Because they're going to learn a whole different way to learn to collaborate they're going to get the benefit of the older part of the generation struggling. So they can learn from them. All of this stuff largely will be resolved in terms. Of least what normal looks like in the future and so they're gonna get the benefit of all of that the closer you are to those transition years of eighteen to twenty four the worse is but the further away the more benefit could end up being you so it's pretty interesting that within the same generation you can have two very different experiences and by the way this is what happened. To millennials millennials like me who crashed into the great recession and then the millennials who came afterwards who benefited from a very robust economy. So even within the same generation you can see pretty significant differences. I mean fire nation. I really hope you're enjoying this contest. Much as i am. Because i'm seeing the application to the real world and that's so important because we're entrepreneurs in the real world. We own businesses and companies in the real world in this stuff makes a massive impact so jason of everything that you shared today. What's the one key takeaway that you really wanna make. Sure fire nation gets from all of this awesome stuff above generational impact and the generational studies. That you've done and then share how we can even learn more about it through you and any call to action. You might have for fire. Nation is time to share. Yeah absolutely so the number. One thing that i would share. You know as an entrepreneur myself now for twenty four years is i would do. It's called a generational snapshot and what that means is you create essentially a pie chart representing the different generations. Either of your customers or of your employees or team members or ideally of both. Because what you'll often find is that there's more generations and you suspect it and it will help you to shape your messaging your leadership in your marketing to better fit them and going a bit further if you don't see enough of the next generation coming in particular on the customer side that's definitely a yellow flag that you need to pay attention and make sure that your dappling for the next generation because they will be the ones that drive growth. So that's the best easiest how to that will cost you zero dollars that a promise will make you money. Which are the type of things i'm all about. And if you want a whole bunch more in terms of how to actually recruit and retain motivate and so forth across generations or market and sell. You can definitely check out the new book. It's called economy. How gen z will change the future business and what to do about it. We do talk about all four generations and just packed with how to in case studies and all kinds of cool stuff and we'll put together a special promo for fire nation. New it be on my website. Which is jason dorsey. Dot com slash. Fire you'll be able to get all of that. They're including three free video courses. Because i am a passionate entrepreneur. Have been for a long time. And anything i can do to help them. Nation will fire nation. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you've been hanging out with j. d. n. j. l. d. So keep up the heat and head over to your fire dot com type jason in the search bar. The page will pop up with everything that we've been talking about today. But of course jason. Dorsey dot com slash. Fire is gonna get you to that gray page with all that awesome content. And i just wanna jason. Thank you for sharing your truth. Knowledge value with fire nation. Today

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