Generation C – Ramping up the Experience Economy

Trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated consumer trends firm, relying on a global network of 8,000 spotters, working hard to deliver inspiration and pangs of anxiety to business professionals in 120+ countries worldwide.”

Generation C (from TrendWatching.com) is what trendwatchers refer to a generation obsessed with content. Whose content? Their own. It is forced creativity. Hoarding memories. This is the beginning of an economy based on experience.

Examples?

It’s Canon telling aspiring directors and photographers that “professional digital photography is no longer just for the professionals”, while Sony speaks directly to Home Movie Directors and DVD Producers.”

The whole point of this is the reduction of liability for The difference here is that “media moguls snapping up original media” sustain less liability than if they were hiring talent within their own companies. This is the outsourcing of talent; the mostly unpaid outsourcing of talent.

And then there’s the niche market market:

First published: March 2005 | BusinessWeek called it ‘The Vanishing Mass Market’, Wired Magazine spoke of the Lost Boys and the Long Tail. Others talk about Niche Mania, Stuck in the Middle, or Commoditization Chaos. We at TRENDWATCHING.COM dubbed it NOUVEAU NICHE: the new riches will come from servicing the new niches!”

I believe I wrote earlier about forced creativity. That everyone is given these tools in which to create and organize content, so that they end up with material upon material. I’d like to say something about my own life that relates to this.

When I was little, I was obsessed with gathering data and journals in my room. They took the form of analog at first, but when I was six years old my dad let me have his microcasette recorder, and I happily begain to record my own advertisements, radio shows, and NPR-style adventure stores. I read books to be listened to by my future self, and praised myself for being able to cut out the middleman (my parents) from having to read me books before bedtime.

I think I was 6 or 7 when I began to really use my father’s computer. We were also using little Apple computer in school, but my father’s computer had this great graphics program on it called Splash, a predecessor to Macromedia Flash, the application that is to blame for the rapid spread of dynamic web advertising.

After a while, I began to accumulate microcasette tapes, creative documents, text files, as well as analog artwork. I was starting to accumulate media, and my mother worried about this. She pointed out that I didn’t want to grow up to be like the artist friend of hers, whose house was in complete creative disarray. She told me that my geological self history collection was creating a fire hazard in my room, and that I should stop, or throw things away.

I didn’t. I still don’t. I’ve just consolidated now. I have a few boxes of the stuff I’ve made. 5 boxes, neatly packed, of the written or auditory journals that encompass probably one in every three days of my life since the age of six. I don’t know why I’ve done this, and I don’t know what it means, but I read that the great artist Louise Bourgeois (really, Bourgeois) did the same thing. As time progresses, I’ve tried to really blog my life (in analog, in video). It could simply be because I was an early adopter of technology. The Information society revved it up for me.

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