Idea Breeders: A Recombinant Hyperpoem
Grown Up Digital

Advice for the Next Generation

Advice for a new generation
Over on Planning Lab, Leon is doing a series of 'advice for the next generation of planners'.

[Generations seems to turn over pretty fast now.

Well, no, technically I guess they don't, since you need to be born during a certain arbitrarily defined time period to be X or Y or whatever, but actually I think they do, if by generation we mean a bunch of people who are around the same age but have dramatically different habits and thoughts and behavior to people who are older or younger.

In Being Digital, Negroponte says that 'each generation will be more digital than the last'. This is worth remembering. immigrant or native: being native now isn't what will be native soon. And, if I'm right, I mean very very soon. You have to run to keep up with an accelerating culture.

Any technology that did not exist when you came of age [let's say 15] will forever be technology. Any technology that came before will simply be, well, stuff.

The Internets is in betweens for me - I came online just as the web did, I dialled up bulletin boards as I began to think who I was seriously - in that seriously self obsessed way that only teenagers can. Mobile phones came after.

But television is not technology to me - althought it was for my parents, who didn't have it when they were teenagers - it is stuff.

And the internets is not technology for anyone growing up now. It's stuff.

I digress.]

Lots of smart people like Russel and Aki and Merry Baskin have offered up useful actionable advice for young planners.

[I've always thought that Polonius really nailed the whole advice thing in Hamlet:

This above all: to thine own self be true]

Leon very kindly asked me to contribute - I fear I wasn't very practical - but here it is anyway:

Be nice. All the time. To everyone. 

Try to meet other nice people who interested in the same things as you.

Don't get [too] cynical.

Stay interested in advertising and communication.

Stay interested in other things too.

Never be afraid to ask questions. 

Reading is for awesome people. 

Write a blog.

Take pictures. 

Develop your own theory about how brands work and what they are for. But don't fall in love with it.

Become a geek [or an expert on something].

Steal everything - every trick and idea - and make them your own.