Generation C: Matt Webb


I didn't capture this whole talk, but here's what appealed to me most. Matt describes what he calls "Gen C" using a collection of C words: Communities, connected socially and electronically, creative, controlling, complex. He says that as a "paid up member of Gen C, I want to help design my products."

I think that's a key point that product manufacturers are missing. Many people have a desire to tinker with things and will if you give them the opportunity. Just as important: the product shouldn't require that you tinker with it to make it work.

Things like Flickr are a good example of this idea on the Web. For most people, it just works, but if you really want, there's an API that you can use to enhance and customize it. Some people do and the product is better because of their work.

Companies that find a way to bring those hacker-users into the product development process will ultimately be more successful because they enlist a vast army of people who they don't have to pay in solving their customers needs and improving their products.