Tell me the truth: Can Gen Y Team Up?

gen y

Note, I couldn’t include all of my close friends in the image but just know that I truly appreciate your friendship

This is a call to all of my friends in the blogging community.  I have grown up with all of you and have actively followed your blogs, read your amazing content, watched you start ambitious projects, and learned so much from you in the process:

  • Greg Rollett is doing a fantastic job over at Endagon and Rock for Hunger
  • Jonathan Mead stepped away from his full-time job and is now a full-time blogger and life coach
  • Rebecca Thorman is kicking ass as the PR and Social Media Lead at Alice.com
  • Monica O’Brien and Jamie Varon have started their own companies.  Jamie is making a huge leap to Europe and Monica will be graduating her MBA soon
  • Matt Chevy left his corporate full-time, moved to Chicago, and is now a household name in the blogging community
  • Adam Baker moved to Australia with his family and has established a name for himself in the Personal Finance community
  • Cody McKibben is living the location independence life and is pioneering the way for others to do the same
  • Our brother from Argentina, Carlos Mic, started his own blog and has established himself as THE blogger in South America
  • And so many more amazing people that I can’t keep count!…

It’s clear to me that we’re doing amazing things individually.  Sure we have teamed up on a few projects here and there, but nothing on a global scale to dominate the social media landscape.  Truly think about it: what if we combined forces and focused our efforts on one global project that would impact the social media community and do good for the world?

An even more important question is: Why haven’t we teamed up yet? What is holding us back from joining forces on one giant project and “killing it” online?

Why I believe it’s so hard for us to work together on one giant project:

Too many minds

“Mind the sword. Mind the people watch. Mind the enemy. Too many mind. No mind.”

-Nobutada

I love this quote from The Last Samurai.  It applies so well on so many levels.

“Too many minds” implies that we’re doing way too many things at once.  Nothing could be truer for our generation.  Just take a look in the mirror and ask yourself “How many projects am I working on?” and “How much time am I truly devoting to each one?”.

Let’s take me for example.  I’m working on SocialMediaMarketing.com, Viralogy.com, and on a few other side projects with my girlfriend and friends from High School.  With so many things on my plate, it wouldn’t be right for me to start another project with you guys.

I feel we’re all in this boat.  If we want to work together on a giant project, we would each have to forgo some of our projects to devote the time necessary to create a successful company.

How do you feel?  Would you drop some of the things you’re working on to work on a giant project together?

Battle of the egos

We are all very strong, entrepreneurial minded people.  We have bold ideas, work well independently, and have been able to achieve great successes by ourselves.  But that’s the important element that we must consider: can we successfully put our egos aside and work together?

Even more important: Who will lead and who will follow?

Every company needs strong leaders, and just as importantly, every company needs strong role players.  I feel that with such an amazing group of minds, we would each want to lead the company in our own way and it would be difficult to put our egos aside and let someone else lead for a change. Who would be the CEO?  How would equity work out?   There are so many small logistical details that it creates a very large barrier for us to get together and all work on a single project.

So think about it.  Out of our group, who do you think would lead?  Would you be able to give up the leadership role to someone else?

What if we were able to work together:

The fusion of all of our personal brands

Each of us has established a solid personal brand that we can leverage to start a movement.  By joining forces towards one goal, we could quickly scale the movement to generate revenue, build traffic, and get sponsorships from companies.

We have proven to be able to build a following online, write quality content, build startups, and establish authority in a subject.  We are young, full of energy, and have equal work ethic so we’d all be putting in the late night hours to make sure we’re successful.

Yu-kai recently made a video about being a Laser instead of a Flashlight.  By focusing our personal brands and our efforts, we would become a very powerful laser.

The voice of Gen Y online

Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss, Peneleope Trunk, and Chris Brogan are all impressive, powerful, successful people.  They understand Gen Y very well and communicate very well with us, but like I’ve said before, I feel there is a disconnect between us because they’re not a part of our generation.  Gen Y looks up to all of them; however, who does Gen Y look to to find someone we can learn from AND who is our equal?

By joining forces, we could be the group that Gen Y looks to for support, advice, knowledge, and friendship.  We’re already teaching and building relationships; if we do it together on one platform, we could reach out to so many more people and build a legacy that will always be remembered.

So do you think it’s possible?  Can our group get together and work towards one ultimate goal?  Would you even want to do it?

If you’d love to join, let me know and together we can make something BIG happen 😀

Published by

Jun Loayza

Jun Loayza is the Chief Growth Officer at Bunny Inc. In his startup experience, he has sold 2 technology companies and raised $1M in angel funding. Jun lives in San Francisco, CA with his wife Kim.

36 thoughts on “Tell me the truth: Can Gen Y Team Up?”

  1. This is thrilling.

    Yes, I’d be glad to give up the leadership to someone else. I’m the youngest and I don’t speak english that well. Most important, I see people up there who are much more prepared and experienced with leading.

    It’d be an insult to call this a “post”.

    This is a call to action. Count me in.

    1. Glad that you’re in brother.

      My entrepreneurial philosophy is to first gather the team, and then develop our goal and vision. We’ll see who is on board, develop our goal, and I think most importantly, develop a realistic schedule.

      If I added another project, I would be in the “Too Many Minds” category for sure. It’s all about good timing, an excellent team, and a united goal for all of us to work towards

  2. I think there are many projects where we do work together already – Sam’s Appreciation Revolution, Brazen Careerist, etc. but new opportunities are always exciting and I can’t wait to hear what you have up your sleeve. Your energy will surely keep us all motivated 🙂

    1. Thanks Rebecca! I am full of energy!!! 🙂

      I think contributing on each others blogs is definitely a way to work together. However, I’m thinking of something much larger.

      I’m thinking of a project or campaign that generates revenue and impacts the world on a global scale (or at least the entire United States).

      I’m not sure exactly what that will be, but if we put our heads together, I’m sure we can all think of something great

  3. What’s stopping us from joining together? Simple: lack of a common goal. Just the idea of ‘moving forward’ isn’t enough. We all consider ourselves leaders in some way, shape, or form. We have our individual goals and we’re driving towards them with all we’ve got (and then some). We are our own equals. And where I fall short, someone near me is more than capable of taking up the slack.

    Show me a goal, and I’ll show you folks that are willing to push towards it.

    All that said, I’m in.

    1. My startup philosophy is to first gather the team and to then develop the goal together. If we are able to do this, then each of us will feel a part of this goal because we were each a part of its development.

      Show me an A+ team and I promise you that even a B idea will become successful.

      1. I can understand that mentality. The best analogy I can come up with is when I was a kid in the summertime. The whole neighborhood gang would just kinda ‘show up’ somewhere every day without a pre-set plan, and we would all see how the day unfolded.

  4. I’m always looking for a way to work with you more, you know that!

    Anyway, we talk about this topic a lot on Skype. Here are a few more reasons I can think of to answer the question:

    Under too many minds – yes, we’re all busy. Not only is sheer amount of time a factor, but scheduling from four different time zones would be a complete mess.

    Furthermore, we also all have different goals. Some people blog for fun, some people have regular jobs, some people are doing this to feed themselves. Drastically different goals + drastically different lifestyles make it difficult to collaborate.

    Under battle of the egos – I don’t see leadership as the thing we’re all fighting for – I see it as the burden we’re all trying to avoid. Leadership of something like this would be absolutely exhausting. You have to moderate several different highly individualistic people with extreme personalities. It’s the nature of the game – you don’t get big in the blogosphere without an extreme personality of some sort, as we can see from your examples of Gen X’ers we all look up to.

    Also, I have no problem following you as a leader. You’ve earned that though, over year(s?) of friendship. But, I’ll be the first to say there are people in your network that you love that I would never work with (not to put anyone down – it just wouldn’t be a good match), and there might be people in my network that you don’t really click with. It goes back to that extreme personalities thing – eventually, extreme personalities crash into each other, and you have the makings of reality TV rather than a productive project.

    I think Gen Y is working together – just with a smaller, more selective groups of people. I see lots of partnerships, maybe 3-4 people max on a project, where everyone still takes a leadership role – these are easier projects to coordinate. In my professional life, I’ve been doing more partnerships than ever with friends from Gen Y. Essentially, whenever I can’t get something done by myself, I try to find a partner to work with.

    1. When the time is right, I know we’re going to collaborate on an ambitious project.

      Hahaha, leading such an amazing group of people would definitely be exhausting. At the same time, I would love to do it 🙂

      Love the “reality TV” show point. Though we may all be friends through writing, working together is a whole other story. Assembling a team would have to be done very carefully.

      It looks like the best Gen Y teams are under 5 people and in close proximity to each other.

      It will be hard to do, but if we all work together, imagine the possibilities!!!

  5. Jun – This was a really interesting post to read…. I definitely agree that there would be an ego ‘thing’ to deal with… But I don’t think that is generational.

    If you look at all of the people you mentioned, they’re entrepreneurial in one way or another. If they’re not freelancing or building some sort of a business, they’re making huge changes within the organization they work for.

    It’s not just about Gen Y teaming up. I imagine you would get a similar response if you were to ask a whole bunch of entrepreneurs to work together on a project. Some people would go for it, but you’ll probably get some that say, “Screw this… I’m going to do my own thing.” It’s just in our blood to want to give directions and not to take them.

    As far as people to look up to…. I look up to a lot of the people on that list. Many of those people are doing some really amazing things and their input is extremely valuable when I need to bounce an idea or two off of them. While there’s no Penelope Trunk or Tim Ferriss at this point…. give it a year or two and then we’ll see.

    That all being said…. I’m excited to hear what you’re planning. 🙂

    1. I’m sure we have all thought about the possibility of creating one mastermind between all of us (is that the correct word, I’m not sure?).

      What I mean is to gather a select group of minds to join forces and brainstorm on an idea. The brainstorming could take months, but once we’ve developed the idea and made time to execute, I thing we would be largely successful.

      Hahaha, who do you think will be the next Tim Ferriss?

  6. Great post, Jun! This blogging community has so much to offer — individually and as a whole. You mention “battle of the egos,” and I think that is a good point — with such a group of strong-minded, talented people, there will naturally be competition and some clashing. However, I think in this particular community, that competition translates to motivation, and that motivation translates into a desire for excellence where unity is possible. As in Rebecca’s example — just look at Sam’s Appreciation Revolution or Matt’s Inconvenience of Change series — many voices coming together, all with different backgrounds and outlooks, to create something powerful.

    As similar as we are, I think we’re all so different as well — with each person able to bring something completely different to the table — strengths, talents, passions. This similarity and individuality are traits that can prove to be forces to be reckoned with when conjoined.

    Thrilling is exactly right. Looking forward to seeing what you have in mind!

    1. Susan, I just signed up to be a volunteer at an animal shelter! Starting in a few months, I think I’m going to put my “save the animals” idea into action!

      I love bloggers who work together on a collaborative post. However, I’m talking about building an organization or a startup together when we’re ready.

      I’ll be honest, at this time, I’m definitely not ready because of the “too many minds” issue.

      One day though, we will unite!!!

  7. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Carla Blumenthal and I have already partnered up at The Lost Jacket but heck why can’t the rest of us partner up?

    I’ve worked with most (and know the rest extremely well). I think it would be interesting to see a larger collaborative project where we each threw a monthly post from one of us on each one of our blogs. Would give us each a lot of press.

    Another idea? Think tank type of situation where we each test out, evaluate and rate brands on their relative effectivenes?

    I dunno…just the two ideas I had off the top of my head.

    Timezones are kind of a bitch though.

    1. Stuart, I’ll be visiting the East Coast soon. You know what that means bro!… late night blogging sessions!!! hahahaha….

      Collaborating on one giant blog would be interesting. This was the goal for Viralogy Experts. I must apologize for putting it on hold for now due to my “too many minds” issue. Gotta focus!!!

      I’m all for a Think Tank or Mastermind group. I think that is where this is headed.

      I’ll be in touch brother

  8. Hey Jun,

    I am always thinking about partnerships! Right now the 2 biggest things going on in my world are joint ventures that spawned from the blogging community (Label 2.0 and a Young Entrepreneur Course with Under 30 CEO guys).

    Here are some things I think this Gen-Y group is missing in order to really make something happen.

    Time and Value.
    The one thing you have to think of when creating partnerships is that what you offer has to pack more value than what they are currently working on. That value is usually money, but can also be press, networking or something life fulfilling. Most projects we ask others to help with are nothing more than – “hey can you help plug this post, or this project or this whatever and I’ll give you a link or something.” In order to take it to the next level, there needs to be real value. 50/50 partnerships, investment capital, real time commitments and a value that is going to make me say, “shit I need to get on this.” I’m never too busy for new ideas, but I am too busy to daydream and not follow through.

    Direction, goals and exit plans.
    Most ideas that we are coming up with have no real end goal in mind. In Internet Marketing we do huge product launches and have exit strategies, clear goals and timeframes that make it easy to join in or say no thanks. In order to come together there needs to be a real goal and plan. Planning sucks, but you need to do this stuff to make it past the business in a garage level.

    Scaling
    We are all young, very young in fact to really consider ourselves entrepreneurs. The people on your list above, myself included, are not in a position to raise capital, manage a large team and scale beyond our means (not that I wouldn’t want to). This also means that it is tough to get the money to bring on the team you want for a project. It would be hard for anyone to ask me to jump on a project for “future earnings.”

    Collectively, yea I think we could kick ass and make something amazing happen. I think Monica is right for what is happening now – we are getting in groups of 2-5 and making things happen. As these businesses grow, we are going to be able to open more doors for other friends and partners. In the meantime we are still trying to find out what the next move is and how we are going to pay the bills consistently.

    Future Ideas
    So here is the spilling the beans for 2 things that I am working on and would love this group’s help to make a reality:

    1. A Mastermind Group – A monthly or bi-monthly conference call where we chat about what we are doing and have the group make all the projects better by adding their input. This can be help with sales pages, campaigns, acquiring clients, how to make their site better, how to build their business, make an impact in their company or whatever. We can also have one person lead the call and do a brief presentation on a topic they have a strong hold on.

    The mastermind concept is huge in large business (I’ve been on some calls with Fortune 5’s and huge entrepreneurs and now I’m a believer) and in order for us to come together and grow, we need to learn from each other and help each other from the inside. We need to share inside information, tips and ideas that can help all of us succeed.

    2. A Big Get Together – Initially I wanted to make this invite only for 8-10 of the people I truly follow and want to hold hostage for 3-4 days on a beach in Cali and surf, network, cook and have a few beers. I think opening it up may be even more beneficial to kick things off. These sessions can be highly relaxing and high intense. I think now is a good time to get this started and talk about what we can do to start putting real faces to favicons and getting to know people and how they can help us grow.

    Anyone that wants to take this to the next level, email me, tweet me or keep commenting here!

    1. Hey Greg,

      Thanks for the mini post 😛

      1. Mastermind Group

      I have thought of putting one together myself and have reached out to a group of people to test the idea to see if it was viable. It looks like it is and that other people have the same idea.

      More to come on this…

      2. Big get together

      Bro, if you want to rent a house for a week here in Southern California, count me in!!! I’ll bring the camera and tape the entire week of adventure, fun, brainstorming, and pure awesomeness.

      I’ll be in touch

      1. I’ll be back in Cali in April for another Coachella. Other than that, you know where you find my typically—Thailand. I would love to be there for a fun week of meeting everyone and brainstorming, just hope I could fit it into my travel plans.

        And of course, Mastermind group, I’m in!

  9. Great post and very motivational idea, Jun! I think it would definitely make a huge impact for Gen Y to REALLY team up in the way you’re saying — taking it beyond the internet and entering real life. I think a lot of the collaboration is still online – writing guest posts, starting blog series, collaborative blogs/online projects, etc. How can we take this OFFline and make a greater impact?

    However, although you said we’d come up with a goal after coming together, I don’t necessarily think that would work. We all have different goals and I feel like it would be very difficult to come to a cohesive conclusion about what sort of project to pursue. Beyond that, it wouldn’t really encompass all of Gen Y…just those interested in social media and marketing and blogging. This is not really representative of Gen Y.

    1. It would be awesome to use our online influence and make a difference doing something that’s offline. I wonder what that could be?

      It wouldn’t be the entire Gen Y population, but at least the online demographic. We’re the ones with the biggest voices anyways

      1. With my business and my blog, I am continually looking for ways that I can give back and support social change, the urban poor, and displaced people across Southeast Asia. I’ve partnered with my buddy Dwight Turner here in Thailand (InSearchOfSanuk.com) to put on a lot of Tweetups for Charity, supporting various charity and volunteer causes in Bangkok and the surrounding area, and Thrilling Heroics Consulting has starting giving back a percentage to his organization.

        I think things like social entrepreneurship, microphilanthropy, voluntourism, and so on might be powerful “goals” to consider…

      2. Hey Jun, I’m friends with many of the people you mention in your article, though I’m mostly just an occasional lurker on your site (hence me just now getting to this post, haha).

        I’ve read every comment up to this point, because I’m really interested in the topic . . . IS it possible for all these disparate people to come together and work on one project?

        I’m commenting here because I want to let you know that it is at least in some respects possible – I do it every week with what I call the “A-Team” – a group of 400 people in 30 countries who spend 15 minutes a week going out into the real world, making a difference in the lives of those around them – in a way that’s meaningful to THEM. I manage communication with the entire group, assign the weekly “missions”, and coordinate our efforts to accomplish big things.

        You can learn a little more here: http://www.itstartswith.us/change-the-world/

        Some of the people in our group have no influence at all, some are big online and small in the real world, and some are huge in the real world with a very small footprint online. But no matter who they are, they all unite together once a week to change the world.

        I’m starting to partner with other large groups to form sub-teams, and I’ve been approached by charitable organizations as well. This thing is really taking off after just 6 months, and I’m working to make this my full-time job within the next 6 months.

        If you ever want to chat about making a difference both online and off, just hit me up. I find the idea of bringing together a large entreprenurial community fascinating. 🙂

        Nate

  10. You know I’m in…

    I like Greg’s points and comment. I share a lot of the same ideas.

    The only thing lacking is someone to create the spark. Someone who is willing to inspire enough to focus the objective. To stir up some major passion and let the chips start to fall.

    I’m sure however the land it’ll be awesome.

    It seems like you have the guts to do this. You also have the networking skill and leadership. Consider my hat in the ring for whatever you come up with. I’ve got that much faith in you.

    -Baker

  11. This is the ultimate call to action! I do think its possible, with the right strategy and leadership. What will be so unique about this project is that everyone has the ability to lead but is humble enough to try out other people’s ideas. You have to be open minded and opinionated for this to work.

    There is only one way to find out, the ball is in our court!

  12. Ambitious goal Jun – I’ve met and chatted with several people and those who know me on a more personal level know I am an idea machine – In short, I’m in – let’s chat – the possibilities both now and over the long-term are endless.

  13. Good idea, Jun! I also really liked reading through everyone’s comment…it almost reinforced that stereotype where each of us had something different to say or offer. In my eyes, two (or more) heads are better than one. I would LOVE to collaborate on something with this community, at large.

    The way Rebecca commented on the way we do work together already (on a small scale) and that those projects still have power to them.

    I do see time being an issue. It would have to be something that has some sort of flexibility but still allows for an end goal, fulfilling responsibilities, etc. I’m really excited to hear more about this. Count me in. I’m always down and I know our creativity as a whole could be amazing!

  14. Jun, I’m not a blogger, but I’m about to finally get off my ass and get started. I’d love to get involved with this – how can I help?

  15. Although I’m newer to the community, I’d love to contribute anything I can to any projects that come to fruition from this initial call to action. I’m with Cody, I think it might be interesting to look into how we can make a difference offline and maximize not just our own personal value, but look to see how we can really provide some value to society, and the environment on the whole. Keep me in the loop and let me know how I can help.

  16. I think in many respects web 2.0 is all about the collaboration of people through technology (for the most part) to reach a common goal. Yet, (as Jun points out) the world is highly segmented with people collaborating but not its optimum capacity. With our generation specifically, there is a yearning in all of us to do something beyond normalcy (I think we all have seen it and feel it)…doing something meaningful with anyone trying to make their imprint on the world would be beyond gratifying…it can change our generation’s way of influencing the world. This can be our very own Wikipedia or Linux project with or without a technical core, most importantly we can harness the power of our crowd to create something great and inspire.

    As for coming up with a common goal, I think it’s simpler then we make it to be. What does anyone who is reading this post want? I think it is: to live a meaningful and exciting life. Surprisingly enough, I don’t think that was the core focus of many other generations. So how do we communicate that goal through a common project…I think finding that out is the exciting part 🙂

    Simply put…Im in…and I know many other very capable people who are too…let’s get this goin…looking forward to hear from others!!

  17. I agree with Greg Rollett.
    I think the team should be gathered by goal instead of gathering team to generating giant goal. So that you know what kind of people you need, and how could you use resources to achieve the specific goal.

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