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Friday August 22, 2008 2:04 pm

Gnomedex 8.0: Meet Generation Y with Mark Bao




Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Blogging, Features, Planning

We are ready to chat with Mark Bao, the 16-year old entrepreneur, and the youngest person to ever speak at Gnomedex. Mark runs Avecora, which does web apps. In the future they hope to do social consumer electronics. He also won me over by introducing himself as an avid Gear Live reader, as we got into a conversation about the BlackBerry Thunder.

Generation Y.5, how will they affect the future of technology? FIrst, they have more exposure to new technology. Companies are making it easier for technology to be used, but also this generation is more used to having it around and therefore more comfortable with it. Next, tech innovators and entrepreneurs will be brought out of this generation, and as such, there is a change in career paths, jobs, and influence. There is an expectation in more social features. Also, this generation is used to the age of data. This also spurs shorter attention spans. If something isn’t interesting, they know they can just got find something else due to the vast wealth of data.

Francine talks about things she grew up without. No Facebook, Fax, Computer, Fax, Intel, McDonald’s, Computers, etc. What she did have was privacy, security, clean air, healthcare, two parent household, and an extra-marital affair that no one found out about.

Francine wonders how much “in the way” the older Gen X generation is, as it pertains to Gen Y moving ahead and doing what they need to do. School in its present form isn’t teaching what is needed for upcoming jobs. Sure, it teaches history, sciences that are valid, etc., but is missing the technologies that are necessary for those that are entering into the new industries. For Gen Y.5, school, college, jobs are becoming meaningless as it pertains to business, finance, and tech.

The big change came when mobile came to the forefront, having a communication system that allows you to socially interact in a multitude of ways from wherever you are. Voice, text, social networks, etc. As it pertains to privacy, most Gen Y.5ers don’t really care about privacy, nor do they use the privacy features offered by networks like Facebook.

The one thing I think might have been missed, is that Mark is a very, very special case. However, most 16-year olds are not like Mark. They will mostly have regular jobs. Sure, they will use more tech, but right now most of them are using text messaging, MySpace, and Facebook - not selling companies, and creating new startups.

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