A Review of Millennialisation of Everything by Jeremy Balkin
The running theme throughout the last two publication on Millennials is that they are totally able to change the course of humanity with a single socially connected decision. In this sense, Millennials are able to control the pace of activity in the world and no one is immune to it. The Millennialisation of Everything by Jeremy Balkin, is a relatively brief book which seeks to reveal the phases and processes behind the success and downfalls of Millennials.
In what seems to be a very complex, contradictory and controversial topic for most authors to engage with audiences on, Balkin has taken a straightforward and genuine approach to conveying his own Millennial perspective of the world. As a self described ‘older Millennial’, Balkin breaks down his book into five basic sections, which each analyse the pros and cons of being a Millennial in the current social, political and business environment. They are as follows:
- Part 1 – Who are Millennials,
- Part 2 – Myths, misunderstandings and misconceptions,
- Part 3 – How Millennials are reshaping the world,
- Part 4 – How to win, and
- Part 5 – Future Millennials leadership.
Drawing from his own experience as a Millennial in the business world, Balkin is shocked and frightened at the sheer lack of Millennials who are being consulted by businesses. He argues that today’s businesses will soon be transitioning their market bases over from Generation X and Baby Boomers (or whichever are before Millennials) as Millennials will soon be the largest spending and working demographic in history. In one case study, Balkin draws justification for his views by examining world renowned football club Manchester United and their (expensive) star signing Paul Pogba. In a very interesting analysis, it is revealed that Manchester United only realised the power and influence of a young Millennial such as Pogba, in light of the sheer social media following, accessibility and marketability he possessed. And this business and social insight by the Club saw them expanding their reach to around 1 billion supporters with a proprietary media license and merchandise. In this example, Balkin sees businesses who embrace the popularity, marketability and influence of young successful Millennials as the key reason why sports team are some of the most successful businesses the world has ever seen.
However, Balkin does provide contrasting arguments to all the lights and glory of being a (young) successful Millennial by talking about politics, technology, business and the stereotypes they endure about their everyday living.
One of the most stark arguments made is about the financial situations that Millennials have to go through as a result of the failures created by older generations. The key theme of the collection of these arguments is that Millennials (as observed) appear to be trust-averse and “would much rather go to the dentist than listen to their bank”. Amidst a period of FinTech, technological and penetration, the alternative for Millennials to adopt new brands and place their loyalty into new Millennial-targeted products is a worrying sign to large, established institutions and businesses that are having to compete in a different playing field. And Balkin acknowledges this conflict by addressing the reality that trust is a two-way street – and until either side starts to fulfil this symbiotic relationship, then the misunderstanding of Millennials is going to continue to occur.
However, Balkin appropriately transitions the book’s message away from the pros and cons of Millennialism and Millennialisation (as the jargon in the book terms it) to a message of opportunity and leadership. Again using political and business examples, Balkin sees Millennials using their pervasive experiences to renounce the intergenerational standards that have been unfairly imposed on them. Although Balkin that admits no Millennial is created equal, he believes that the Millennial mentality is so innovative that they will be able to embrace and “harness the power of their best traits” to reshape socio-economic platforms for the better of humanity.
In this very enjoyable read, Jeremy Balkin’s Millennialisation of Everything takes a very whole-hearted and holistic approach to the fact that Millennials are everything. They are the future leaders, future authors, future parents, future teachers, anything and everything that Millennials set their mind to doing, they will achieve. They possess the greatest innovation available to humanity – technology, and their utilisation of their time and knowledge should prove very fascinating in the coming years.