Saturday, December 12, 2015

Dear Future CEO

Dear Future CEO,
Today is not the day. But it will be, very soon, perhaps sooner than you may think. You're a Manager-getting-a-harrasment-case away from handling your own team at 24. A Director-messing-up-so-badly away from taking his spot at 27. A move to Chicago away from becoming SVP at 30. And yeah, a few successful executive level projects away from becoming the top honcho of the company (or owning one) and rubbing elbows with the likes of Bill Gates and getting invited as a judge in Shark Tank. Yes, that's you.

For now you go do what you do. Go make a silly Vine video or tweet something snarky. Go add up to the already broken tradition of saying grace before meals by taking a pic of your food instead, posting it online for the world to know just how delightful your plate of carbonara really is. Limit your conversations to probably a few words with your family by never letting go of your smart phone. God knows how important that is compared to family "chit-chat". Yes, just text, don't talk, we know you need your space. And we certainly don't want you feeling awkward because we dialed and actually used the very reason why mobile phones were invented in the first place -- for talking. Let's go focus on your gadgets because they are the new keys to success and secure your right to let the world know specifically what, when, where, why and how your life is. TMI knows no boundaries from hereon and getting deprived of your online world would probably equate to a vampire getting slowly exposed to sunlight, just extreme torture.

You are what we call the "Social Media" generation and you are sweeping us by storm. People who are in their 30s probably got sucked up pretty badly, those in their 40s in the middle and probably a handful in their 50s and up. What can the baby boomers do but jump into the bandwagon if they want a fighting chance to catch your attention, right? It is not unusual anymore if Grandma posts her well-kempt sofa on her Facebook wall (yes Grandma has FB) and caption it "Wishing somebody would sit on it again besides me!" to badly solicit companionship which never was something you need to ask for back in the day. But because everyone seems to be busy socializing online, well there you go. Can we stop it? I'm afraid not. In fact it's probably gonna get worse. And when you take control of one of the Top 500 Companies Future CEO, you are only going to enhance it. This is your world, and I'm sure you don't find anything wrong with it. And I will probably end up in the middle of my ideals thinking if I should embrace it or hold on to my old-school upbringing. Maybe I won't be there any longer to witness it, which can be better but I know once I see Grandma using hashtags already, then we surely just hit a bottom low. Might look funny at first but really bottom low.

Yes, on that day when you are sitting in that lux and comfy Chairman seat of yours, with your corner office atop the New York skyline, figuring out how to finally abolish the rolodex and fax machine, you would have no recollection that there used to be a world where social stood alone without media constantly tagging. Where you eat dinner with family and talk, or circle around a bonfire or table enjoying actual voices without a single soul looking into a small hand device and see them giggling on his/her own. You will lead a company full of ideas, designing apps to make life a lot easier through online shopping and auto-shipping but truthfully making it a lot lazier for a person to go out and essentially avoid human interaction for that day. Siri will soon have a face, maybe even a hologram and you will revolutionize the word companionship. Nobody would be alone because they would have a robot drone as a friend, every household. Friendship would have a price, about $2,500. You will find this as an accomplishment. This is who you will become. You will succeed because your market is huge and is constantly growing. You would be Julius Caesar sans the sword but with a tablet and Google glasses.

Your generation have developed a new form of phobia -- the fear of being left out -- without you even knowing. And like a marketing mogul you are you will feed off every human's desire to know now and will be exploiting it. Creating demand by creating awareness that it is important to know almost everything without wasting a single second and that being left out for even the dumbest thing is not cool. You are gonna make money out of this because you are Mr. Online and you would be viral just like the meme you are posting right now. I can already see the dollar signs in your eyes like I see the parasites that your generation would become towards information. Forget about lowering the values and standards of morality, let's build the next biggest technology. Cause "if you build it, they will come", and yes I quoted Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams but you're probably saying who? what?

It is truly the end of an era, like Favre to football, Jeter to baseball, Kobe to basketball. I probably will get tired holding on to my more traditional (primitive to you) means of life and succumb to your future if I live long enough to be part of it. Or I may simply keep everything to myself and enjoy my understanding of socializing with a handful of my contemporaries inside a mess hall in our humble and "off-line" Senior Living apartment. I will fail to be what you will be because a part of me may not be able to fully accept what your generation will find acceptable. I wouldn't probably stand a chance against you anyway if we go head-to-head applying for the job this very moment. They'll probably pay you half of what I'll be asking and that would be my doom. Sucker. Perhaps we'll never even get a chance to showcase our portfolios because you'd be earning millions already by 20 while I'm just getting the hang of my salt-and-pepper hair. Nevertheless, good luck to you, the next Zuckerberg!!! And when you get there, please remember that we had this conversation. Send me a note as well saying that you have succeeded. Handwritten preferably, if you still do such a thing.

Will Never Be CEO