Re: Request for Information on Generation Y

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From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Date: Thu Dec 14 2000 - 09:47:21 PST

Hi Prof. Malek,
  I can only assume from my old email address that
you have found the "iTurf" [1] IPO announcement in the
FoRK archives. Being from the widely misunderstood and widely
successful GenX, I am afraid that I have little to say about
"Generation Y" other than some online marketers
use it as a label to identify a group of 10 to 20-somethings
with high disposable income [$278B as of April'99], high
access to technology, and no access to credit cards or
line of credit. Interestingly enough, iTurf has
yet to show up on [2].

What this adds up to is a tremendous untapped bundle
of disposable income that the online e-tailers are
desperate to get their hands on, but have no way to
close a financial transaction. If you think having
parents give teenagers the keys to the car was dangerous--imagine
the terror in givin them their own electronic wallet. There's
a definitive split between the comfortableness of GenY interacting
and purchasing online with Baby Boomers. [Aside: interestingly
enough Seniors do not share the degree of trepidation--perhaps
this is because of so many technology changes in such a short
period of time?]

The answer to the GenY marketing problem is, threefold. Either
turn e-commerce sites into 1) "Wish List" sites like or, etc.'s 3rd party wish lists, 2) lock a GenY
into an vendor specific e-wallet which gets funded by
parental or grandparental oversight, 3) or put together
a true p2p commerce micropayments system where recycling
cans, putting a network connection onto CoinStar,
or selling network computer cycles to Folding@Home will gain them
supplemental income to use online.

Please write back if this is useful. I'm curious as to
what type of study you are doing. Are you a professor with
the Naval Postgraduate School, DoD language school, somewhere else?
I have a friend that used to sit in an elephant cage doing
CTI work around Pacific Grove--which is where I assume
you are.



"Malek, Bahgat" wrote:
> Dear Sir:
> I am making some studied on Generation Y. Would you please send me some
> information on Generation Y.
> Thank you.
> B. W. Malek
> Associate Professor
> e-mail: MalekB@pom-emh1.Army.Mil

Gregory Alan Bolcer        |    | work: 949.833.2800
Chief Technology Officer   | | cell: 714.928.5476
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