What’s the Future of Business: Generation C

Brian Solis and Friends at Yammer

Brian Solis and Friends at Yammer

Recently, I had the privilege of hearing Brian Solis speak in person at Yammer in San Francisco. You’ve probably been hearing about Brian’s’ new book What’s the Future of Business because when Brian speaks, social media people listen. At this event, not only did Brian give his time freely, he also gave away stacks of his new books (in hardback, no less), stuck around for his fans, answered questions and signed autographs. So while the content of the book is innovative and exciting, the context and the giveaway are what really surprised me.

Social Media “Gurus”

Being in and around social media myself, every single day I get bombarded by people who call themselves gurus and leaders. Many of these self-proclaimed gurus spend little time actually engaging: instead, they broadcast! They don’t answer questions or engage with their followers. Instead (prepare to clutch your pearls!) some of them actually buy their followers. Brian doesn’t call himself a guru like a million others–he does the unexpected–by doing a massive giveaway. I’d say that’s inspiring! And also something that I’ll personally remember for a long time.

Generation C

Brian focuses not on Gen Y (the “Millennials”) but on Gen C, where “C” “represents a connected society based on interests and behavior. Gen C is not an age group–it is a way of life.” To Gen C, connection is everything. Which means, ultimately, that if you or your brand are not spending time connecting, then you’re missing a huge opportunity.

Shared Experiences

What's the Future of Business

What’s the Future of Business

Clearly, Brian Solis is famous already and doesn’t need to share his expertise for free. So why did he give away his book? I think he did it to drive home his point: if businesses want to connect with Gen C, they will need to create memorable and non-traditional experiences for their customers.

Are You Creating Experiences?

What are you doing, as an entrepreneur or a brand, to create experiences that will appeal to Gen C? Are you using a combination of social networks and more traditional marketing to sell your products or services? Please leave a comment below!  


  1. WSVDesign says

    This was a great article …. what I got from it , was social media for gen c is a way of life …… not a chore but actually a way of life like eating , sleeping and so on…. Actually I agree about giving back to the people that support you!

    • Hello Natalie,

      Thank you so much! Yes, Gen C is always on social media, always connected, listening and experiencing through social media. And Gen C is ageless–that part is different, too.
      Giving back is so important. Thanks for commenting! I appreciate your taking the time (twice!).


  2. In many ways, the “connected” part is why we are on so many different social networks.
    My thought is: If our customer is there, we want to be there, too.

    I want to think about this some more, though.

    • Hello Bridget,

      Brian’s work is really thought-provoking, Bridget. That’s one reason I like his writing so much. And you’re right–we need to be where our customers are. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!


  3. Great write-up, Carol. Yes, it’s smart to pay attention to Gen C as it is based on behavior rather than demographics.

  4. Hi Carol,

    Great stuff from Brian.. Our company is on board and providing tools that help brands deliver their digital story. From a platform that helps brands facilitate a consumer/customer share their experiences to enabling brands to connect to this newly defined group we get it and love it.. Brian is great and helped us validate our vision.

    • Hello Rich Stein,
      Isn’t Brian the best? Glad to hear you’re on board with Gen C and that Brian helped with your vision. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  5. I was reading tweet and I had to click link as I wanted to find out what Gen C meant. Thanks for making that clear. I like the ageless part.

  6. “Many of these self-proclaimed gurus spend little time actually engaging: instead, they broadcast!” This was the key for me.

    • Luckily, Brian Solis is different, and that’s what is so refreshing about him, Allen. I’m connected to him on Facebook, and he often interacts with his fans, although he has MANY of them. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate that!


  1. Baby Boomers and Social Media | Women of Technology says:

    […] Let me backtrack a bit by saying that I meet Baby Boomers all the time who feel insecure about social media. I think it doesn’t have to be that way. They think they have nothing to say, and yet they have more experience than younger people, and have been through all kinds of economic downturns, changes in employment, divorce, and much more. So of course you as a Boomer have something to say. The issue may be that you feel insecure around younger people who have grown up with Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and YouTube. And if you’re a Boomer connected on social media, I like Brian Solis’ “Gen C” label. […]

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