30/10/15: ‘Internet Natives’: Power of Value Creation + Power of Value Destruction

A very interesting Credit Suisse survey of some 1,000 people of the tail end of the millennial generation (age 16-25) across the U.S., Brazil, Singapore and Switzerland. Some surprising insights.

Take a look at the following summary:

The results are seriously strange. Around 48% of all respondents use internet for payments transactions, but only 19% on average use it for obtaining financial advice. In other words, convenience drives transactions use, but not analytics demand.

Meanwhile, on average just 20% use internet for earning money or working. Which makes you wonder, what jobs (if any) do the respondents hold if only 1 in 5 use internet to execute it? And, furthermore, look at the percentages of respondents who use internet for job searches compared to earning money or working. Once again, something fishy.

Internet use for political and social engagement heavily exceeds personal relations. And this is true for all countries surveyed. Which simply does not bear any relationship to young generation voting participation in the real world, but does match their responses to whether or not they use internet for voting.

While responses across previous set of questions suggest that internet-based social (political / civic) engagements are more prevalent amongst the young respondents than personal engagements, there is the opposite view of internet as bearing personal benefits as opposed to social benefits.

This is especially true in the U.S. and Switzerland, where the gap between those who think internet is a positive personal platform as opposed to social platform is 12-13 percentage points.

Confusing? May be not. The ‘web naturals’ that we all are, we are simultaneously experiencing two aspect of internet-enabled life:

  • Too much information and clutter; and
  • Significant value to the power of engagement.

What this means to me is that social and interactive platforms have to stop inventing new channels to push through to us – information users – commercialised crap and start letting us take charge of content once again. To do this, the successful platforms of the future will need the following:
1) Own brand capital that is clean from being pure advertisement pushers;
2) More creative and empowering deployment of user-generated content; and
3) Ability to re-focus their business strategies on margin delivery.

Otherwise, they will end up cannibalising themselves and destroying our – users’ – value.