New Generation Has Commercial Personality & Entrepreneurial Idealism
According to William Deresiewicz of the New York Times, the
hippies had love, the punks had rage, and the slackers had angst.
And the abiding characteristic of today�s youth is the polite and
earnest, �affect of the salesman.� Call them Generation Sell.
Their ideal social form is the small business in that they aspire to
launch food carts, techie startups, and socially responsible
companies. Growing up as they did in the �heroic age of dot-com
entrepreneurship,� it makes sense that they�ve come to regard the
business plan as the characteristic art form of our age with Steve
Jobs as the resident deity.
Their entrepreneurial idealism also extends to their personalities.
They are low-key, self-deprecating, post-ironic, eco-friendly and
motivated by a constant desire to make themselves more pleasing to
They have, in other words, a commercial personality, but they�re not
alone. Deresiewicz says we�ve all come to treat ourselves like
little businesses, something to be promoted and managed � in short,
we�re all selling something ourselves.
Editor�s Note: I see this movement as very encouraging and
liberating, given the ineptitudes of our elected representatives
(both parties) in Washington. This embracement toward
entrepreneurship is really a healthy form of self-preservation.
What�s the alternative? Is it relying on an unknown, by trying to
project 10-20 years into the future to ascertain what will be
forthcoming from an outside force, i.e. corporate America or the