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I watched an online video of Guy Kawasaki at the Churchill Club. Guy was moderating a panel of young people ranging from fifteen to 24 years old. Guy wanted to learn about their habits and perceptions regarding new technology. It’s pretty fascinating and eye-opening stuff for an old, white guy like me.

Over the one hour discussion the panel shared some interesting tidbits:

  • They send as many as 4,000 text messages per month from their phones.

  • They watch one to two hours of TV per week. And they use Tivo or
    a recording device to fast-forward through commercials during that
    short timeframe!

  • They all have iPods.

  • They all use either or both MySpace and FaceBook.

  • They pretty much only use their cellphone and seldom use a landline. Actually, I was a little surprised they even knew what a landline was.

Obviously, it’s difficult to generate any type of broad conclusion from six young people who live in Silicon Valley, but I suspect these general statements are pretty accurate for most teens and 20-somethings. I asked a friend’s sixteen-year-old daughter how many text messages she sends each month and it was also over 4,000. I’ve sent TWELVE text messages this month. How many have you sent?

The lesson is clear. If young people represent the future of your industry (as I assume they do), then you better start learning how they want to be communicated (read: marketed) to. Forget what you’ve read in the papers. Are you familiar with MySpace? Are you comfortable with sending 130+ text messages per day?