Steve Jobs, Teen Idol

By October 13, 2009

A lot of time is spent, a lot of internet ink is spilt, trying to figure out young internet users. This endeavor is so difficult that one of the most ‘authoritative’ of these researches – at least as measured by the amount of press it received – was back in July when Morgan Stanley was able to capture that most elusive of creatures, the 15-year-old boy, and present his insider's report on high-school habits as the final word on teens and tech. The generational divide is fascinating and is always a source of crunchable numbers and crunchy ideas. As much as the teen demographic has been dissected and analyzed, it’s still a constant source of surprise, predictable in its utter unpredictability. For example, this: In a Junior Achievement survey of 1,000 teens ages 12-17, the most popular entrepreneur was Steve Jobs. The Apple CEO, who received the top vote of 35 percent of those surveyed, was more popular than Tony Hawk, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Kimora Lee Simmons, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg.

Sixty-one percent of those who chose Jobs did so because he "made a difference in/improved people's lives or made the world a better place."

We all know that Jobs casts a giant shadow over Silicon Valley, but over teen culture as well? As with anything having to do with teens and tech, this might be an accurate gauge of who our future heroes will be.

Because early adoption of technology by younger generations is so pronounced, tweens, teens and Gen Y are sometimes treated in studies as a cross between a lab rat and a coal-mine canary. The fact that these users will continue to keep the same habits as they age into older demographics, and be replaced by youth cultures that are even more tech-savvy, leads to a very desirable futures market.

But why do they have to dress like that?

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