Op Ed: Millennials Aren't Killing Your Industry

Young people laughing while enjoying drinks and meal.

Millennials are one of the strongest consumer forces today. They are a large, powerful generation with a unique focus on life that is much different from their parents and grandparents. Millennials are less likely to be married, put off having children, and want to manage their careers in their own way. It's common to hear that millennials are responsible for killing off an industry, service, or experience. The fact is, this isn't true.

What Are Millennials Accused of Doing?

Look in any media report, and there is likely a millennial reference. It's true that this generation has a unique view on life and the way it "should" be lived. This generation has been accused of killing off movies because they binge-watch Netflix. They saw their parents struggle when the housing market crashed in the mid-2000s, making this group less likely to go after owning a home.

Millennials are changing the world. However, they are not killing off industries. Rather, they are shaking up traditional industries and professional pursuits such as networking, with a creative approach to improving them. And, that's part of the free market.

Changes Are Happening in Every Industry

It's easy to see change in the world around us. The traditional enclosed mall is becoming an open-air town center, or even more millennial-focused, is buying online and skipping the brick-and-mortar store altogether. They tend to not like chain restaurants and often prefer different options with interesting atmospheres or organic options. Considering all of this, it is easy to see that today's millennial is disrupting the way people live.

Creative Disruption Simply Improves the Marketplace

Disruption is often a term given to startups. They are disrupting the way an industry is run or how something works. And, in doing so, they are often making it better. Take, for example, the average taxi cab. Hard to get, expensive, and often pretty rundown. With this generation, we have Uber and Lyft, companies that offer the same type of service, but they do so by empowering individuals who want to earn a living for themselves.

Millennials are often said to be disrupting the grocery store business. It's true that they've helped usher in the onset of grocery delivery (evident in Amazon's recent purchase of Whole Foods – another millennial favorite). However, they are also interested in cooking at home. Instead of buying groceries and meal planning, they want a third party to handle that for them. That's why HelloFresh and Blue Apron are unicorn startups.

In other words, millennials are changing the way business operates by working to improve it. This is what the free market is all about. The company that provides the best product or service, enhances a service, or makes a service a better fit for the consumer's lifestyle does the best. It is this level of attention to detail and customer service that millennial consumers tend to value most.

From Airbnb to remote working, millennials are providing a new way to live, learn, work, and eat. They are disruptors, which is what all robust businesses with expansive influence in a free market tend to be.

Anthony Gilbert is the owner of The RealFX Group. Anthony specializes in real estate, real estate marketing, managing the team, and achieving set goals.

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