It seems as though the world loves to discourage millennials. Perhaps it is because they are so different from any of the other generations that came before them. Never before in the history of mankind has one generation been so exposed to advanced technologies from just about the very second they could walk.
This reality has undeniably caused a digital divide – we are left with the effects of one generation being leaps ahead in terms of tech and innovation, compared to the generation that came just before them. Each generation prior to millennials has had to ‘learn them’ because their priorities are different, the things they do for fun are different, the way they communicate, love and live are all different, and as cliché as it sounds: it’s all thanks to technology.
Now, we can speak of technology as this ‘thing’ that one day descended upon the world and changed the way we did things, but we shouldn’t forget that there were, and still are, highly influential people who are central to this profound change – and we could go as far as saying they were the ones who molded Generation Y, better known as Millennials. After all, they designed, developed, innovated and introduced these life-altering concepts that has heavily influenced the modern generation. Not only have they shaped the way millennials live, they’ve paved the way for future innovators who are going to further influence future generations.
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Here is a list of the biggest influencers that molded Generation Y.
Founder of Microsoft
Microsoft, surprisingly enough, conceptualized most of the technologies we have today – and they did so 40 years back! However, because Microsoft was so ahead of their time most of the concepts didn’t take off. Later down the line, these concepts were copied by other big names such as Apple and Sony.
Firstly, Microsoft made complex computing simple, by making computer’s personal. Who knows if computers would’ve been as mainstream as they are today, if it weren’t for Microsoft? The company was also the first inventors of the smart TV, after they launched a division called Media Center which came up with the idea of a smart TV device – but again, this failed due to being ahead of the times. Microsoft also changed gaming, after launching the company Xbox Live, which made online gaming accessible to anyone. It also ‘invented’ the first smartphone and tablet through their creation of Windows CE, Pocket PC and Windows Mobile. Of course other brands such as Apple refined these concepts, but Microsoft was the brain behind the original idea. And, what’s even more interesting, is that if it weren’t for Microsoft we might not have seen the survival of Apple. Apple was struggling to stay afloat in the 90’s and needed $150 million to see themselves through. It was Microsoft that saved them!
Co-Founder of Apple
When we think of millennials we think of smartphones, because they’re practically an extension of the millennial being – and we have Steve Jobs to thank for that! Jobs’ ingenious ideas, which saw the creation of the Apple products – the most popular being the Apple Mac, iPad and iPhone – has created a generation of tech-savvy people who rely heavily on smart devices to get by. Jobs was, without a doubt, a significant figure that contributed to the molding of Gen Y. He changed the way people worked, the way they communicated, the way they lived. Millennials (and the generations to follow), will never truly know what it’s like to live in a world where one’s hands (and lives) are free from technology, and Steve Jobs played an astounding role in that reality.
Founder and CEO of Facebook
Ah, Facebook. Possibly the most ‘millennial’ concept to date! As we know, social media is one of the key players in this modern, digital age. When we describe the characteristics of millennials, it’s always closely related to the influences of tech – and social media. The ‘founder of social media’, was none other than Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Although there were many other social platforms before Facebook, none of them impacted the world the way Facebook did – perhaps because they were never personal (which is what Facebook has focused on), but rather they were platforms for creatives to share their content (Myspace). Facebook was based purely on connecting people no matter where they were in the world. Facebook made it incredibly easy for people to connect with friends and family abroad (at no cost) and allowed people to interact on a personal level without even having to leave the house! While Facebook’s core purpose remains the same, it has grown into a platform that covers almost anything marketing related. It has completely changed the way people build relationships and friendships – and has made the world a global village.
Founder of Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales has played an integral role in the lives of many – especially millennials. Generation Y has depended on the information offered by Wikipedia all their lives, and they are blissfully unaware of how much easier it has made their lives. Past generations didn’t have it half as easy – there was nowhere else to turn but to visit the library, read books and ask questions in order to gain information. Because of Wikipedia’s influence, Gen Y relies heavily on the web to answer their questions and teach them about various subjects. Luckily, millennials love to travel – they regard it as one of the most important things to do in one’s life – and this is probably one of the purest, most authentic ways to learn more about a vast range of subjects and the world at large.
Founder and CEO of Amazon
Amazon was one of the first online stores. It opened the door to online purchasing, which has become the favoured way to shop amongst millennials, and played a role in the further development of the E-commerce industry. The brain behind this concept was Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. As technology progressed, so did innovations such as this – where online portals could be designed in such a way that people could make purchases through these platforms. Now, there are millions of online stores – a concept that was unheard of just 30 years back.