Back to the Future

As technology keeps marching forward, don't find yourself stuck in 'the way things used to be.'

“This is not about you. It’s about your audience: millennials and Gen Z. A smartphone is an appendage of their bodies. Don’t confuse your lifestyle and your generation with the decision-makers of the future.” 

These wise words stuck out to me on a call with John Martin, co-founder and CEO of BundlAR. His company created the augmented reality app we used in our October issue. (If you haven’t downloaded the PublishReality app and experienced the cutting-edge technology, definitely do so.)

While discussing future applications for AR, I shared with him my concern that many (though not all!) members of the older generation often struggle to do what most of the younger gen can do in their sleep: Download an app. (My four-year-old cousin was able to unlock his mom’s smartphone and purchase hundreds of dollars’ worth of video game apps in a matter of minutes. It was a fun call with Apple, I’m told.) 

While baby boomers and Gen X eventually master and utilize the App Store and Google Play, there’s a learning curve, an initial annoyance, or lack of interest: a barrier to entry. 

But John is right. Generations Y and Z are obsessed with their phones. (The average amount of time spent staring at their tiny, glowing screens is more than five hours a day.) And we need to be on the forefront of what’s to come. Not just in terms of technology and how we can wield it to our advantage, but who we are selling the idea to: “The decision-makers of the future.” My little cousin, who knows how to work an iPad better than I ever will, is our inevitable target audience.

So, take yourself out of the sell. Consider who your next client is and what they need to produce for the generation to come. Be a trailblazer in the industry. Digital printing was a new-wave technology in the ‘90s. And I’m sure there were PSPs hesitant to change because analog was all they knew. But where would your print shop be today without it?

Check out more Insight from Editor-in-Chief Adrienne Palmer.

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