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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Whenever I'm bored, I can always find something to do on my phone.”

—Male, 17, GA

Have teens have killed another retailer? Aeropostale has filed for bankruptcy, and plans to immediately close 154 of its over 800 stores. Young consumers’ preference for fast fashion and real-time access to trends has left “mall retailers” like Delia’s, Wet Seal, and Aeropostale in the dust. Last year the struggling clothing brand announced they were attempting to revive sales by “exploring strategic alternatives,” and focusing on a “flirty tomboy girl” consumer. However, it missed the mark, and “[t]he majority of the blame for poor performance lies squarely with [Aeropostale’s] failure to realign itself to the changing fashion demands of younger shoppers.” (Washington Post)  

These days, Osh-Kosh-B’Gosh just won’t do for well-to-do kids growing up in a market that might just make them the best-dressed generation. The luxury childrenswear market continues to boom, with a forecasted reach of $291.5 billion by the end of 2018. Since we first wrote about the trend, more designer brands have launched lines exclusively for “pint-sized clientele,” and online stores focusing on upscale fashion for babies and kids have grown. Although considered a small revenue driver for companies, brands hope that childrenswear will inspire brand loyalty from a young age, and remind adults of their own “coming-of-age moments.” (Digiday

Social network meets “college newspaper on steroids” Odyssey is racking up 30 million uniques a month, with a simple but challenging business model. The site lets any young writer contribute content, as long as they have a unique perspective and publish an article a week. The model results in about 10,000 articles each week from writers aged 18-28, who then share their posts through their own personal social networks. Although they are unpaid, the writers gain exposure from posting to the platform—two to 4.5 times more than if they self-published. (Business Insider)  

Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel’s ability to “speak Millennial” has been key to the app’s success. The platform’s appeal lies in the “less demanding” content it encourages. As the Columbia student who interviewed Spiegel put it, “If you want to take a photo of the beautiful day outside…you can put it on Instagram, but what about that huge space of photos that aren’t 10 out of 10 perfection.” Recently Spiegel declared that Snapchat is a “camera company.” Though messaging and content are part of the app, the camera is the focus because “[t]he thing that feeds a social network is content.” (International Business Times)

We recently broke down all the ways Millennials are updating and redefining workplace standards—and it looks like Millennials in the U.K. may also prioritize meaning over a big paycheck. A U.K. survey of 13-25-year-olds revealed that “44% equate happiness with success and 32% said that for them prosperity is more about achieving their personal goals.” The things that might have motivated previous generations were lower priorities: only 11% of U.K. Millennials said they are motivated by the prospect of owning a house, and 29% said they are motivated by being paid more for their work. (Elite Business

Quote of the Day: “The type of commercials that stick in my memory are the ones that make me evaluate my life.”—Female, 28, SD

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