‘Put vinegar or onion under your scarf for tear gas.’

As protesters in Tahrir Square in Egypt faced off against pro-government forces, they drew a lesson from their counterparts in Tunisia: “Put vinegar or onion under your scarf for tear gas.”

You’d have to be living under a rock not to have taken note of what’s been happening in the Middle East over the last month. And it ain’t over yet. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a piece on the revolution in Egypt in my personal blog post, “Millennials Rising.” It got me thinking.

But what does this have to do with printing, and why should I care?

Well, I tell you what it’s not about. It’s not about the price oil, Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood…and it sure isn’t about terrorism, no matter what Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh says. It’s about the “kids.”

And news flash…we have kids here,too.

What we saw over there was the incredible execution of a game plan to overthrow regimes that had been in power for over three decades. And they did it peacefully. The only violence committed in either Tunisia or Egypt was committed by those in power, not the demonstrators.

These young people used social media—Facebook, blogs and Twitter—to communicate with each other and they followed a textbook. A textbook literally written years ago by a Harvard professor here in this country, Gene Sharp. And disparate players from all over the world worked together with military precision.

I don’t think this generation—Generation Y, the Millennials—hates their elders. On the contrary, these young people are closer to them than we were at their age. It’s the truth. But for some reason, their elders don’t seem to take them seriously.

“All they do is play video games and sit on Facebook.” It’s no different here in this country. And the ruling class of our industry—printing—probably sees things the same way.

Clay's recruiting and strategic consulting efforts over the past 20 years have provided firms in the printing and communications industries the talent and perspective that has enabled them to navigate the constant change they’ve faced. His current company, the bleedingEDGE, provides digital printing firms with 1:1 marketing solutions that enable their small- and medium-sized clients to compete with larger competitors using a cooperative strategy and production model. In addition to the normal 1:1 marketing techniques of personalization and customization, the bleedingEDGE incorporates timing strategies, generational analysis and sociological factors in producing results well above the norm.
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  • http://SteveWeaver Steve Weaver

    I just e-mailed this article to 3 up-and-coming electronic guru’s i know who know a whole lot more about tomorrow and what’s coming and where it’s going than i ever will. After 35 years in the ink-on-paper business, the new electronic ink on mixed media is almost over whelming.

    I’m looking forward to my three friends to grab it and go. Andrea is one of the best, she will be on top tomorrow no doubt, with others following in her footsteps–or should i say wake. An extremely well written article. Thank you!!