So I posted a LinkedIn Article the other day about Snapchat, and I got a series of comments stemming from me talking about the “old, out-of-touch white guy.” That was me, really. I was talking about guys like me and being out-of-touch and not cool.
I’m blown away by people’s POV on Snapchat in general. With all these new platforms, you hear the same thing over and over which is “it doesn’t bring value.” Now, I think value is a subjective thing, and we can get into that another time, but here is the statement I want to make:
If people fail to understand that technology is now functioning the same way as fashion and music, they are missing the boat.
Technology is now culture. Back in the day when people compared Elvis to the devil, those people were 30, 40, 50 year-olds. They didn’t get it. People went crazy about The Beatles and their long hair. They said that music didn’t bring value either.
So I get that you think Snapchat is dumb. I get that you think it’s worthless and just for silly 20 year olds to send each other naked pictures of themselves. Except hundreds of millions of pictures are being sent every day, which means it has to be bringing value to somebody.
The same old clichéd arguments about how Facebook had no value and Twitter had no value are now taking place around platforms like Snapchat. If Snapchat (or someone like them) wins out, the idea of disappearing photos (and I know there are problems there, but this is first generation stuff, guys), and fast communication is going to be a serious play.
So coming back to my first point, for the people out there who are displaying this lack of understanding: Yes it does feel like you’re old and out-of-touch. Yes it does feel like you’re not cool. That’s exactly what’s going on. You’re just not talking to 13-25 year-olds who are finding lots of value in it. You might not find value in EDM music, either, but plenty of people do. So if you’re seeking this Holy Grail that everybody’s talking about: Understanding what brings people value, you first have to understand that something may bring value to other people, but not to you. Value is subjective.
So maybe you’re not cool anymore. That’s ok. Neither am I. Maybe we can just settle on “sophisticated” ;)
Gary Vaynerchuk is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author, self-taught wine expert, and innovative entrepreneur. You can find out more at garyvaynerchuk.com