A well-presented and compiled set of numbers can tell a fascinating story. I learned this early in my career as a corporate executive. The value of metrics was reinforced during my time as a tech entrepreneur and CEO. I believe in leading from the heart and old-fashioned ideas like “management by dining”; I also believe in paying close attention to a company’s metrics. When you know how to read the story behind the numbers, you can better figure out optimal sales, pricing, and development strategies.
It’s one of the reasons I pay close attention to demographics. For example, the largest generation in the nation right now is the Millennials. Born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials recently displaced Baby Boomers as the largest living U.S. generation when they grew to over 75 million. That makes sense. The number of Baby Boomers is declining while the number of Millennials is remaining stable, so voila. As a Baby Boomer who’s the parent of a Millennial, I’ve watched this transformation with some interest.
I’m not worried about Millennials taking over. Just the opposite. I’m excited about it. (With all due respect to other generations, the sheer number of Millennials makes them most likely to have a significant effect on our culture, politics, and futures.) I’ve spent quite a bit of time on college campuses over the past decade. There, I’ve met a whole slew of Millennials who are smart, passionate, hardworking, tech-savvy up-and-comers. It’s always inspiring.
One of the remarkable young people I’ve recently been privileged to meet is Washington University senior Andrew Glantz. Andrew is the Founder and CEO of GiftAMeal. GiftAMeal is a mobile app that donates a meal to someone in need when restaurant diners recommend a participating GiftAMeal restaurant. GiftAMeal has partnered with more than 100 restaurants in St. Louis and Chicago, including 31 Applebees locations. GiftAMeal has helped users provide more than 13,572 meals since it launched!
Andrew’s enthusiasm and willingness to use technology for social good earned him the People’s Choice Award at last year’s Mobiley’s, an annual competition that recognizes U.S. companies that are producing a mobile product or app that will have a positive impact on our lives. Applications for this year’s Mobileys are equally remarkable. While the applicant pool is diverse, and I’m a big supporter of elder-entrepreneurs, especially in tech, it thrills me that so many of these applicants are young and just beginning their careers.
Judging the Mobileys reminds me how we are still in the early stages of our ability to improve lives through mobile broadband. Each year, we see ever more fascinating and innovative solutions for healthcare, education, engagement, and commerce.
When I started a technology company in Northwest Montana, so many folks said our remote location would simply be too big of a hurdle to our success. I knew though, over 10 years ago, that mobile technology could allow us to build a tech company in an off-the-beaten path location. And it did. We were able to write code, make sales, and raise millions for our company all from a coffee shop with Wi-Fi in northwest Montana. Today, we’re able to do all of that and so much more. Unleashing the power of mobile allows us so much greater choice in where we live, what we do, and how we run our lives and our businesses. It’s an exciting time.
As I’ve talked with potential Mobiley’s applicants on college campuses over the past couple months, I’ve been wowed by their ability to see opportunities that push the boundaries of mobile tech and their passion for using it for social good. Many of these young entrepreneurs want to live in unique locations and are depending on the wireless technologies necessary to allow them to do so. We need to be planning now to ensure that they have access to the next-gen mobile technologies they need. If we can do that, I’m confident the Millennials and the generations that follow will deliver a new wave of technological innovation that improves our lives. Andrew Glantz already is. So are thousands of others across the country. Their numbers tell a great story. We should all pay attention.
I hope you’ll head to www.themobileys.com and cast your vote for The Mobileys 2016 People’s Choice award. Your vote could help the next, great mobile app.