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Twitter’s Problem – Their Business Model Is Not Inclusive

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OMG – not inclusive? How is that possible? The Millennials of America have made inclusiveness their mantra. They believe in inclusiveness. They write, speak (and Tweet) about it endlessly. They believe that they are the most inclusive generation ever. They are soooo different from old people.

This is the core of Twitter’s problem – they believe and therefore assume that they are actually inclusive in their thinking. It’s a natural mistake for young people to make, but one would hope that young people in business would check their assumptions a bit more carefully. After all, this is business, not a social movement. But my guess is that Twitter’s marketing geniuses long ago concluded they have checked all the “inclusiveness boxes” and have never looked back.

Want an excellent example of how this happens?

There is a boutique Cannabis Recruitment firm, who I will not name and shame because they are really nice people, who very specifically make inclusiveness their #1 goal in recruiting personnel for the Cannabis industry. Here are two quotes from their beautiful website, featuring beautiful photos of beautiful people depicting diversity and inclusiveness.

To candidates: “We are fully dedicated to promoting diversity in the workplace, and we strongly encourage women, people of color, LGBTQ candidates and candidates with disabilities to submit their resumes.”

To employers: “We will help you find candidates that are aware of and sensitive to the diversity among your customers and stakeholders. With our help, you can build your brand as one of the rare marijuana businesses to connect across communities.”

What, or rather who, is missing here?

Let me approach the question as it applies to Twitter this way.

Of the 46.2 million Americans over 65, 70% are daily internet users, 27% own the latest Smartphone, and 8.4% are Twitter users.

Oops! That is the lowest user rate of all Twitter’s demographic segments. They almost don’t exist.

I think the reason is simple – very smart young people tend to be in charge at companies like Twitter, and they have a focus on Self that borders on obsession. Twitter is built on that obsession.

Which is perfectly natural, and for a while it has been very smart. Young people are always obsessed with themselves. Always have been; always will be. Twitter is a great model built on that completely natural, completely human, completely understandable fact.

By the way, older people have always known this about the young, which is why they smile indulgently at their grandchildren’s self-absorbed chatter and tell them how clever and special they are. It is an exceptionally rare grandchild who ever asks a grandparent what they have been doing lately. It is almost always the other way around.

For a while this has been a very smart business strategy. Twitter’s prime demographic markets have supported its growth so spectacularly that probably nobody at Twitter corporate even noticed the right side of the user graph that shows people over 65 as the least Twittery of any group. I mean, who the fuck cares about having only 8.2% of those 46.2 million old people anyway, when you’ve got all those billions of young people happily Tweeting away about where they are and what they are doing and what music they are listening to?

Hey Twitter – ever heard of “low hanging fruit”? Ever thought about what happens when it’s gone? Has it occurred to you that there might be some fine old fruit higher up on the tree – like more than 65 feet above the ground? Your user numbers say that this has never occurred to you.

History is littered with once very successful, very powerful, very rich companies that have completely disappeared simply because they didn’t see what was right in front of them, and never bothered to re-access their business model because it had always worked. Until it didn’t.

The classic Tarot card for The Fool is a young man stepping off a cliff while gazing up at the moon, so entranced by his own reflection in the heavens that he doesn’t notice impending doom right beneath his feet.

That is your problem, Twitter. Self-absorption is not the primary focus for most people over 65. And your business model depends on self-absorption.

Here’s a clue, oh high and mighty Twitter executives. Ask yourselves – what actually IS the primary focus for older people? What do THEY want to talk about, especially with other older people? What might they actually want to Tweet about?

You don’t know, do you? Is that because it has never occurred to you that you needed to know? My guess is – probably so.


Author: panaceachronicles

I am moving to Portland, Oregon in the Summer of 2018 & am looking for opportunities to contribute to the Cannabis revolution that I helped to start with my 1969 "Cultivators Handbook of Marijuana", written in Eugene, Oregon and self-published with the indispensable help of the Eugene Augur news collective . I have a few new Cannabis & Coca-related ideas that are pretty revolutionary and as part of a team of good people I am confident that we can shake things up a little in a positive way. I am especially interested in working with companies and/or organizations that want to help motivate Seniors to get past any fears they may have regarding Cannabis and take advantage of the tremendous health benefits of this simple, powerful natural source of treatment and healing. Milestone Achievements The Cultivator’s Handbook of Marijuana, Agrarian Reform Press, Eugene, Oregon, 1969. The first US grower’s guide Self-published in the face of active FBI interference. Managed initial West Coast distribution. Published worldwide in six languages. 3+ million copies sold. Still in print in 2017. No longer the best – but still the first in its genre. Marijuana Foods, Simon & Schuster, 1981. The first full-length medicinal Cannabis extract cookbook in the US, offering unique extraction options and techniques for creating edible Cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. The first Medical Cannabis book to focus specifically on the needs of Seniors. Still in print in 2017. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. 1980-82. Conceived, founded & developed the company & its flagship brand “American Spirit™”. Worked with Native American groups to develop a market for native, natural tobacco produced by Native Americans on tribal lands. Initiated organic growers program. Lost company through bad choice of outside investors – lesson learned. Writer/Producer of “International Straight Talk” video/CBT series. 1995-97. Sponsored by US/SBA, Texas Instruments, Texas Utilities and GTE. Ten full-length country-specific videos with accompanying Computer-based interactive training app. Focus on practical cross-cultural skills for Americans doing business with, or operating on teams with people from other countries. National & international distribution 100,000+ copies. Still used in Graduate Schools of Business & International Management. Blogger & Social Media Fanatic: 2012 – Present. 175+ full-length posts on the historical and contemporary medical and spiritual uses of Cannabis, Coca and Opium, advocating for the full legalization of Coca Leaf as a natural medicinal plant to complement the emerging range of medical applications of Cannabis and the historically validated importance of Opium as a natural medicine. (Plus, the occasional political ranting and utopian dreaming.) Other Relevant Publications The Connoisseur’s Handbook of Marijuana, Rolling Stone/Straight Arrow Books, San Francisco & NY, 1971. Best-selling history of Cannabis as recreational, inspirational and medical drug. International Cultivators Handbook of Hashish, Opium and Coca, Wingbow Press, Berkeley, 1975. First US book to link & document the medicinal and spiritual uses of the three great natural drugs. The Cultivators Handbook of Natural Tobacco, Cultural Dimensions Press, 1982- 2010. The first grower’s manual for natural tobacco as grown by Native Americans for thousands of years before this powerful spiritual herb become corrupted by the modern cigarette industry. The Coca Leaf Papers, 2012. Medical and scientific research from 1750-1900 on the therapeutic uses of Coca Leaf in the form of extracts and tonics. Extensive bibliography hyperlinked to original historical resources. Advocates for acceptance of Coca Leaf alongside medical Cannabis as a powerful, natural medicine that cannot be co-opted by the Pharmaceutical industry.

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