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What the next generation of entrepreneurs will look like

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John Gress/Reuters/File

(Read caption) Fruzsina Eordogh works outside a cafe in Chicago in this March 2012 file photo. Cornwall predicts that the next generation of entreprenuers will be multi-taskers who are more tuned into social media than any prior generation.

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USA Today ran a story by Rebecca Walker on the entrepreneurial nature of Generation Y.  They have three interesting profiles on Gen Y entrepreneurs.

Here are my thoughts that I shared with the author for this story, which regular readers have heard me say many times:

Generation Y is the most entrepreneurial generation ever. Parents raised their children to be independent. This generation feels a general sense of distrust for large organizations and government.

What will be really interesting to watch over the next decade or so is the next generation coming along — Generation Z.

These are the children of Generation X.  They share some characteristics with Generation Y.  For example, they seem to view entrepreneurship as a perfectly normal career path.

But they have some fundamental differences.  Unlike Generation Y, they will probably not be seeking balance and meaning in life from their careers.  They are driven, high achievers.  They are the first generation for whom the constantly connected, social media world is ubiquitous.

Should be a fun ride as they start to enter university programs like ours.  We will need to be adjusting our programs and probably our expectations as this group begins to replace the Gen Y folks in our classrooms.  They will challenge us to integrate technology and social media in our classes.  They will be looking for more high growth opportunities than the Gen Y folks have..  And we will have to get comfortable with their multi-tasking personalities.

This may be about the last generation I teach.  By the time they have worked their way through the system it will about time for me to open my bait shop.  I will always be teaching in some fashion.  I will continue writing and will certainly honor the life time warranty I offer my alumni.

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I will be leaving the next generation — will they be “Generation AA”??? — to my younger colleagues.  Who knows what they will bring into this world!


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