In Defense of Millennials
These days Millennials are a favorite target of old farts like me. Listen carefully and you’ll hear business leaders and pundits call them snowflakes, lazy, entitled, self-centered, impatient, restless… the list goes on and on with few positives.
Now I’m the father of two millennials, one who graduated top of his undergraduate and law school classes at Harvard. The younger one, started work two weeks after he graduated from college and at 24 just purchased his own home.
In Terms of DCTech, some of my favorite entrepreneurs running some of my favorite companies are 24-year-old millennials.
If you had the opportunity to meet David Engle and Jackson Geller, the 24-year-old co-founders of Upgright Labs, you’d describe them as focused, driven, intense, and bright. Not one of the traditional Baby Boomer, judgmental descriptions of Millennials applies to these two young men.
Spend 15 minutes talking business with Hatch Apps, Param Jaggi and I realized I was meeting with the antithesis of an entitled, self-centered, and lazy human. It’s difficult not to notice the thoughtful intensity and curiosity that may explain the progress Hatch is making in a highly competitive market.
You can’t paint a nationality, a gender, an ethnic group, religious group with a broad brush. The same holds true with Millennials.
Are there lazy, entitled, self-centered millennials? Yup… there sure are. But I can think of lazy, intellectually incurious, snowflake baby boomers (go ahead and list them in the comment section).
Are millennials different than X’rs and Generation Z and baby boomers? Yes, they are. And you know what? We baby boomers are different than the “Greatest Generation” that proceeded us.
I’m not willing to paint the millennials with any other broad brush stroke except that they were born in a different time than us boomers. They were born in a time of more uncertainty. They were born in a time when it is no longer unthinkable that 19 crazed maniacs could kill thousands of souls by flying commercial airliners into office buildings.
Millennials were born in a time when every day their school day ended without a shooting was a day to celebrate. They are the first generation in America born with the prospect of not being able to obtain the same quality of life as the previous generation.
And with all this uncertainty and all this disruption, we see incredible kids push through and succeed in an environment that would have crushed many of us Baby Boomers.
In Defense of Millennials, this generation was forged in the fires of uncertainty and those that emerge, those like David Engle and Jackson Geller of Upgright, Param Jaggi of Hatch App. They give me hope and make me believe that this generation will do us better than us Baby Boomers who were raised in a softer, kinder, more predictable time.
Now let us all pile on those damn Generation Z’rs… they’re so lazy, many of them can’t even change their own diapers… which unfortunately is becoming more of a problem for many of us Baby Boomers.