Jan 7, 2009

Make ‘Flickr’/ MySpace/ Facebook your office!

A recent article in the Financial Times (‘Social Networking sites elevate geeks to online gurus[1]’) illustrated how three young forward thinking and entrepreneurial individuals started making cash by having something as simple as a ‘Flickr’ [sic.] page! “Cant’ have been making much” I hear the pessimist say. Well an extra £9,000 p.a. worked okay for Kevin Meredith (a.k.a ‘Lomokev’). In February 2009 he will also release his first book (‘Hot Shots’) and it’s already on pre-order in Amazon! His clients now include shoe manufacturer Dr Martens.
Let’s try another example: Paul Griffiths (21) sold £500,000 worth of tee-shirts, hooded tops and badges from humble beginnings 24 months ago through a MySpace profile see: Babycakes Clothing (the profile has sound effects when we last checked, try http://www.bbycks.com/ if you’d rather see the site without sound!) and now he has a shop in Manchester, and employs 10 people! From what we can see though, this isn’t just a tee-shirt printing business, it’s a kind of ‘following’. There’s a blog; buyers can upload their photos of them wearing the clothing and they have BabyCakes parties... OK, so it’s not everybody’s ‘cup of tea’ but... for 21 it’s no bad effort.
So what can we learn? First, Naked Generations will be the first to say that we predict a trend: As the cost of higher education increases and the uncertainty of what were ‘permanent jobs’ continues, we predict that a noticeable portion of Generation Y (and Generation Z beneath them) will not enter traditional jobs or training programmes like the generations before them. Instead they will capitalise on the mediums of sites such as facebook, flickr, Ebay, and YouTube to sell home-grown ideas to the masses.
And if you’re still thinking (to quote Boris Johnson) “that’s a load of boulder-dash” and, it will never cross over into the real world listen to this:
Ms Lauren Luke (27) launched a series of video tutorials through YouTube about applying make-up to copy the styles of the likes of Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and Leona Lewis. They were watched, the styles were copied, she received a whole lot of attention and now writes a column in the (UK’s) Guardian Newspaper weekend magazine. Oh, and just before Christmas she flew to New York to begin designing a make-up range for Barry M. Our guess is the Guardian is attracting the next generation of readers by using the leverage that Ms Luke has created for herself online.

[1] Bradshaw, T., http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/68d9ef4c-d86f-11dd-bcc0-000077b07658.html Financial Times, 2 January 2009 (p.10)

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