Hi everybody. Recruiting Animal here on May 5, 2010.
And today I've got a confession to make. I'm going to tell you who I love. I love Gen Y experts. And you know why? Because criticizing them is like shooting fish in a barrel.
I just read an article in O Magazine by David Houle. Dave Houle is a professional futurist and he says that one of the distinguishing features of the millenial generation is that they are technologically savvy.
But what evidence does he offer? He tells a story. A CEO told him that he had to migrate his company from one software platform to another. His IT Manager said it would take 2 weeks and $60,000. So how did he solve the problem? He told Dave:
I gave a 22-year-old $100 and a case of beer, and he got it done in a day!
Thats funny, eh? But the obvious question is: what does that mean? That you can ask any 22-year-old to come up with a solution to your IT problems? That’s what it sounds like, doesn’t it? But everyone knows that isn’t true.
So I don't know what the editors at O Magazine were thinking when they let that be Dave's proof. Maybe they told Dave that their readers aren't very analytic and they don't need more evidence than that but you know what, I sure do! And so should you.
Some CEOs have told me that they get their 10- or 12-year-old children to do their PowerPoint presentations for them.
Well, when I was 10 we used to buy model airplanes that came in pieces and we had to put them together just for fun, like a puzzle. And let me ask you: What's harder, making a model airplane or plugging stuff into a Powerpoint presentation? They didn't write the presentations!
You know, if you live in the jungle and you see someone flush a toilet, you might think he has magic powers. Because someone who doesn't know anything finds the lowest level of achievement absolutely amazing. And that's the kind of person Dave sounds like here. Someone who's never touched a computer in his life and is totally amazed when he sees those kids typing away.
And he goes wild about his faith in the the multi-tasking ability of the younger generation. He says:
Studies show that digital natives can concentrate on more than one thing at a time.
Then he goes on about how they text all the time.
All multi-taskers think they're brilliant at multitasking. But in fact multi-taskers are terrible at multitasking. They get distracted constantly and we might be creating people who are unable to think clearly because there's important things you cant think about unless you're only thinking about one thing at a time.
As a closer to his O Mag articles, Dave moves onto utopian predictions:
The digital natives will be viewed as one of the greatest generations of artists and creators, and they even may signal the beginning of a new level of connected human consciousness.
You know what? I won't even ask what that means. Just let me say that in the 1960s there were a million articles like this telling you how fantastic the baby boomers were going to be. And now the baby boomers are the Gen Y bad guys.
And, speaking of predictions, remember what Woodrow Wilson said? That World War I was a war to end all wars? This is the same kind of crap as that.
In fact, in the comments under my PunkRock article there's one from a woman who claims to be a university professor and she says - I'll paraphrase -
I am so tired of being told how technologically savvy young people are when the majority of students in my classes don’t know how to paginate a document in Word.
Just because they won’t stop texting to talk to you doesn’t mean they’re technologically savvy.
So Jerry Jerry, can you stop texting for a minute and tell us: What show is this?