This is my second year at the Further With Ford technology conference, which is in its 5th year. The 2015 conference is being held for the first time ever in San Francisco and Palo Alto, at the HP headquarters. Today we are hearing from experts all around technology, from the Lead Designer at SimCity to one of the partners at Beats by Dre.

One of the most interesting sessions of the second day of Further With Ford was those on the differences between the last three generations that have the most buying power right now: Generations X, Y, and Z. Here are some of the key differences between these three generations.

Generation X and Baby Boomers

Sheryl Connelly discussing the baby boomer generation

  • Don’t like boundaries, which is why the Ford Explorer appealed to them
  • Grew up in a time of innovation– TV
  • Never saw a war in their childhood
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Like decked out cars
  • Saw growth of technology and cell phones
  • Latchkey kids: Were babysat by television
  • Grew up in the 80s mainly
  • Sees cars as status symbols
  • Bought records and CDs

Generation Y: Millennials

  • Saw creation of smartphones
  • Credited with bring Obama to office
  • Look up to Zuckerberg and other young billionaires
  • Burned out by trying to be accomplished by the time they reached college
  • Over-celebrated for all accomplishments, even the smaller ones
  • Constructive criticism doesn’t fare well, since many never experienced it growing up
  • Don’t see cars as status symbols
  • Buy digital music for download

Generation Z: Under 21

  • Growing up in an inter-dependent market: Globalization and see news instantly from around the world
  • Dealing with aftermath of global recession, climate change, and terrorism
  • Social media and app economy creates daily disruptions (e.g. Vine, Snapchat, and KickStarter)
  • Lack patience that previous generations had.
  • Believe that “good things come to those who act”: many more young entrepreneurs who went into action instead of waiting around.
  • Don’t “buy” music, rely on streaming services

“Standing out is the new fitting in” is a statement that is true for both Millennials and Generation Z.

Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit

We also heard about millennials and the current power of the internet from Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.

Alexis Ohanian, Founder of Reddit, at Further with Ford 2015

One of my favorite quotes from Alexis was:

“You don’t need to open a factory to change the world. You just need to open a laptop.”

He touched on the fact that college students (Generation Z) are more interested in entrepreneurship because of the recession (which was touched on by Sheryl) and the fact that they want to go out and make something out of themselves to improve the world around them.


To learn more about what’s happening at the Further With Ford conference this week, check out their social stream landing page!

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones

Founder/Chief Marketing Consultant at Six Stories
Kelsey Jones helps clients around the world grow their social media, content, and search marketing presence. She enjoys writing and consuming all kinds of content, both in digital and tattered paperback form.
Kelsey Jones
Kelsey Jones