SWAN of the Week, Number 137

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

Elon Musk

Happy Friday!  

And welcome to the latest wave of new subscribers. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s teach each other something. 

Last week I had the honor of sharing a keynote at AdFed’s Student Ad Summit in Minneapolis and met quite a number of young talents just brimming with potential, creativity and a welcomed challenge to the status quo.

I started working at an ad agency when I was 17 and learned firsthand the power of digital nativism in a creative culture (and an industry that relies on youth and “what’s next” to break through).

Taking that lesson forward, I believe that Generation Z can develop even stronger and more competitive super powers than Millennials, the first digital natives. Gen Z has only ever known an internet-fueled, mobile world, which means they lack the baggage, hang-ups and constrictions of that world.

For example, they’ve built cooperative Minecraft worlds in three dimensions FOR FUN. It’s a completely different way of wiring your brain, and we need their type of thinking in modern marketing.

So here’s where the opportunity comes in. If you can approach the “world of olds” like a student, learn the foundational craft of the communications arts, and not immediately dismiss things as passé or ancient, your multi-dimensional skills in creativity are deeply needed and marketable.

For those of us Gen Xers and older, we should be looking for opportunities to embrace these new thinkers and not fight them. Not look down our noses at their slang or social behaviors, and instead approach them like a student and teach, mentor, partner with and equip this next generation.

Speaking of understanding the past to look to the future, I want to share your formal invitation to the LA premiere of Perkons VR later this month. I’ve learned so much from Cory McLeod and others on this project over the years and am thrilled it’s being added to the Wende Museum of the Cold War’s collection. Be sure to RSVP if you can come! 

Also, this week we announced my upcoming keynote at Social Media Breakfast MSP, called “WTF is Social Media in 2020?” on February 28. It’s going to be provocative, educational and hopefully encouraging in a world where social media gets such a bad rap. You can get tickets here

See you on the internet!