Q&A With David Burstein, Author of Fast Future

David Burstein, 24, is a Millennial writer, filmmaker, and storyteller. He is the author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, the first broad book about the Millennial generation, written by a Millennial. The book takes readers inside the largest generation in history to tell how and why they are changing business, technology, culture, and politics. Ypulse had a chance to sit down with David and get his perspective on how he sees the potential of Millennials and the impact they will have on the future. 

Ypulse: Firstly, let’s talk about Fast Future. What exactly is the Fast Future? 

David Burstein: The Fast Future is the reality we are all living in right now. It’s a world where so much change happens so fast that we can’t always figure out whether we are living in the future or the present because the line between the two is increasingly blurry. While there has always been change in our world, today the exponential growth of digital technology is producing a series of constant simultaneous revolutions in almost every sector. For other generations, this presents a real challenge, because they have to constantly adapt to this Fast Future world. But for this generation, we’ve come of age understanding the Fast Future as the new normal and it’s allowing us to be incredibly effective agents of change, we simply see opportunities where others don’t. There are many disaffected people in Egypt, but Millennials intuitively saw that they could use technology to power a movement for change so they acted on that idea and toppled their leader. 

YP: How do you think large businesses and corporations with hierarchical systems can learn from Millennial business leaders and what strategies would you recommend implementing within their eco-system to attract and…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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