Small Change

Powerball, the President and people remind us that future is what we make of it together


Photo by Red Tide Productions

I didn’t win the Powerball jackpot.

You can tell because you’re actually reading this blog, which likely would have gone unpenned had I pocketed any portion of the $1.5 billion Powerball prize awarded Wednesday night.

And, because you’re reading this blog, I deduce that you didn’t win it either. Otherwise, you surely would be having it read to you, while settling back into a chaise lounge on some faraway island escape, being fanned and attended to by your cadre of newly hired minions.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Admit it: you spent a little time this week (perhaps even more than a little) dreaming about what your future could be if only you could cash the proverbial golden ticket. “What would you do with the money?” was the ubiquitous conversation starter, and we indulged our imaginations over what we would do with what Trevor Noah called “talking in the third person money.”And while there would have been significant charitable donations and college tuitions paid for, you better believe David was charting his course to a swim-up bar in the Caribbean straight up to the lottery draw.

Powerball, though, wasn’t the only catalyst for the change mindset this week. President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address on Tuesday, which sounded a lot less like the current state of the union than a dream of what state the union might one day be in.

We had Wednesday’s Republican debate, which featured six candidates proclaiming what the world would be like when they are elected president (which, in most cases, sounded no less fantastical than when we talked about what our world would be like after winning $1.5 billion).

Even the news of David Bowie’s death had us contemplating the ways the world could be different. The stars look very different after we lose a visionary.

Let’s face it . . . we are all always looking to the future. We make business plans for the fiscal year in front of us. Family vacation plans for the upcoming school holidays. Powerball might have concentrated the conversation into a compressed window of time, but we’re always building toward a future of our own design.

That’s what several of our Newbridge leaders experienced a week ago when they attended CES 2016 – the exhibition of consumer electronics that made you feel like you’ve been dropped onto the set of the Jetsons. It was a smorgasbord of cool tech tools and toys (or, as described on Fox Business News’ segment featuring our partner, Gen-Ze, the “wearables, hearables and rideables” of the immediate future), which we’ll explore in greater depth in an upcoming blog.

Faint fingerprints of the future can begin to be seen in the numbers reported Monday in the recently released USA Today-Rock the Vote poll of Millennials, who were asked about what they are looking for in the platform of a potential future president. This wasn’t a traditional Who Are You Voting For? poll. Instead, this focused on the issues that matter most to the country’s largest population block (there are 75.3 million Americans between the ages of 18-34, creating a demographic slice of the pie bigger than even the Baby Boomers).

What kind of world do Millennials want to live in?

According to what USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page called a generation “more pragmatic than ideological”:

  • 80% want the country to run on clean and renewable energy by 2030
  • 80% favor background checks on all gun purchases
  • 75% want to see police equipped with body cameras

Some presidential platforms may be shaped by what they’re hearing from the 35-and-under set. They’d be foolish to disregard what the potentially loudest voice among eligible voters is saying (even if the poll found that only 60% are likely to vote in the November election).

Similarly, our businesses would be wise to listen to what the largest market share is saying. The better we understand how the Millennial market sees its future, the easier it will be to adapt our business plans accordingly.

Something David Bowie has been urging us to remember for years:

And these children that you spit on as they try to change their world

Are immune to your consultations

They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.


David Seigerman has two new books out this fall,
Take Your Eye Off The Ball 2.0 (Triumph Books) and
Quarterback: The Toughest Job in Pro Sports (Triumph Books),
the first ebook in the Real Football Network’s Go Deeper series.
Follow him at @dseigs18.

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