STATE OF AMERICA
Millennials Excitement & Preference For Gadgets Over Cars Speaks To America’s Changing Car Culture – At a major conference last year, Toyota USA President Jim Lentz noted “many young people care more about buying the latest smart phone or gaming console than getting their driver’s license.” That is a major shift from the days when the car stood at the center of youth culture and wheels served as the ultimate gateway to freedom and independence. Technology seems to be providing that freedom and independence in a much more accessible and less costly way for this generation. The billion-dollar question is whether this shift is truly permanent, the result of a baked-in attitude shift among Millennials that will last well into adulthood, or the product of an economy that’s been particularly brutal on the young. There are plenty of reasons to suspect the latter as Millennials have become notorious for being innovative and untraditional in living life on their own terms.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
An Appreciation For Simplicity Drives Pinterest’s Addictiveness – Pinterest has caught fire with its simple and intuitive design. Facebook has long been overwhelmed with continuous feeds of relationship status, check-ins at restaurants and pictures of kids. In contrast, Pinterest is a refuge from the over sharing of daily experiences. The pin boards serve as its users’ personal happiness collages and allow people to learn more about themselves. Users do not focus on the minutiae of daily experiences. Instead, they’ve found a found a deeper connection in allowing people to see the beauty of connecting with their ideal selves and sharing things they’re truly passionate about.
Barclaycard Launches A Crowdsourced Credit Card –
Turns out you don’t have to be a banker or mathlete to get into the credit card business. Barclaycard US is calling its new Ring card “the first social credit card to be designed and built through the power of community crowdsourcing.” The secret of the card, physically similar to any other, is the financial system behind it. The crowdsourced card has low interest rates, low fees, simple terms and “the opportunity for cardholders to shape and share in the product’s financial success.” Radical transparency is a key element as it pulls back the curtain that separates brands from its customers. The company notes that for the first time cardholders will have visibility into the card’s financial profit and loss statements. An online framework will provide cardholders with the ability to influence decisions that impact how the card is managed and serviced, completely re-thinking the incredibly complex financial process.
Change.org Launches Homegrown Crusades Without Ever Gathering In A Park Or Square – By marrying one of the world’s oldest organizing tools, the petition, to one of its newest, the social-media loop, Change.org is putting companies and governments under tremendous pressure to change their policies, sometimes in a matter of a few weeks or less. And it has invited everyone around the globe to participate. “Before, to be an activist you had to go on a march,” says Hayagreeva Rao, professor of organizational behavior and human resources at Stanford University. “Now all you need to do is log on.”
ON THE RADAR
Know This: Brands have their eye on a new startup named Chirpify which has created a Twitter commerce platform that allows users to instantly monetize their followers. Chirpify links up with PayPayl, and once a user is registered with the platform, person-to-person payments and donations are as simple as replying to a tweet. Examples include: ‘@favoritebrand Buy’ or ‘@politician Donate’
Read This: Megachange: The World In 2050 is a new book from the editors of The Economist. The book takes a deep dive into the fundamental trends that are changing the world faster than at any time in human history and predicts how the world will look like 40 years from now as a result of megatrends including the gap between rich and poor, the age of emerging markets, and the “social supercloud.”
Watch This: Jason Silva is filmmaker and futurist who is known for producing short videos that provide espresso shots of inspiration. All of Silva’s videos have a mission of creating and sharing awe. If your creativity needs a boost, start by watching the above video.