At a Manufacturer’s conference this past Spring, employers were discussing the aversion of college students to jobs in “Manufacturing”. This word, they feared, represented blue-collar “grunt” work and that’s misleading, as manufacturing jobs today require high-level programming, engineering and other scientific skills. “We’ll have to start calling ourselves ‘Makers’,” the speaker said.
I thought, wow, that’s so artsy-craftsy, how could that possibly work? But further exploration quickly revealed collaborative facilities where really smart people get together to play with hi-tech tools and solve some incredibly impressive problems. I joined the Plainview Maker Space where my involvement is, admittedly, very artsy-craftsy.
Like the author Ryan Holiday, even as traditional advertising and marketing practices seemed to be crumbling at the edges, I hesitated to relinquish them. Not only because they were academically sound, and profitable, but because they were an awful lot of fun.
But as I read Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, I realized I had already been moving in that direction. In fact as far back as I can remember, whether it was part of my “official” skill set or not, I had always been deeply involved in various aspects of my clients’ (and their clients’) businesses. From staging product demos at events, to testing UIs, to posing as a consumer to evaluate the customer experience—even venturing into product design—I have come to recognize that I’ve been a Growth Hacker throughout my career.
Before 2016, I thought a “Futurist” was an artist who painted in the style of Futurism. Little did I know there were experts whose vocation consisted of advising businesspeople, filmmakers and other visionaries on the direction of technology and lifestyle 10, 20, 50 years from now. It wasn’t until I started reading and discussing the work of Futurists that I started to get a sense of where technology is going, how various phenomena fit into the big picture, and just how exciting the future will be.