Why Teenage Users Do Not Indicate Your Technical Future

So I had to sit through yet another meeting today where some breathless 30-something expert urgently asserted that email and blogs are going away because, as we all know, “teens” signal what’s coming in the future.  And since teens use Facebook and Twitter and SMS, and don’t use email or create blogs, that naturally means email and blogs will soon go away for all of us.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg earlier defended this idea, employing a recent PEW report that only 11% of teens email daily (a significant generational drop).  Then she said:

“If you want to know what people like us will do tomorrow, you look at what teenagers are doing today.”

You’ve heard this elsewhere right?  A bunch of times probably.

And it makes a terrific little sound bite, and feels all edgy and smart and progressive.

And it would be – except for the fact that it’s completely dumb and wrong.  Maybe even Continue reading

If There Were A Marketing God

Sometimes I like to imagine what ads would be like if there were an omnipresent Marketing God.  Some supreme, completely honest marketing voice that knew all.  All about the products and companies that we have access to.

In order to draw fair and complete comparisons between complicated products and conditions you have to think that ads created by the Lord our Marketer, would be pretty wordy, but because the Marketing God really wants to make sure I know the truth, and knows I am lazy, all the words would go into my head in the form of a native thought.  Pop!  Full understanding.

Like an ad for a pen might go:

“My Son‚ ” My marketing God always starts his advertising copy that way.

“My Son, on the one hand at 50% off, Writemate’s New Gel Premium Grip pen is well worth its monetary price, costing you $0.02 less than the cost of materials, production, packaging and distribution.  On the other, I beg that you weigheth the claim of “disposable”.  Alas, it is not disposable in a compositional sense, excepting that once it runs out of ink you will simply wish to discard it.    In fact, if you buy now, the specific pen you are holding will persist intact for 357 years at which time it will be mistaken for a silverfish and swallowed by an as-yet un-evolved Sea Lion species near South American shores.  That will be on a Sunday.  It will Continue reading