Josh Spear, 23, Was Born Digital

If you’ve been wondering who Josh Spear is and how he went from a college drop out to a jet setting trend analyst and brand consultant with a hugely popular online presence, this video of his talk at Zeitgeist Europe 2007 will help.

Spear’s talk is 18 minutes long. If you don’t have that kind of time to invest, I’ll take the liberty of condensing his key points to this: young people love their cell phones–it’s “their center of gravity”–and they feel naked without them. Of course, this isn’t news. Spear adds value via the details. He explains how digital youth use their phones and services like Twitter and i’m in like with you to interact with their friends.
Here’s my favorite soundbite from his presentation:

When it comes to reaching or selling anything to Ally or to digital youth, it’s not about finding her–there are unbelievable researchers that can tell you exactly what they’re doing–and it’s certainly not about interrupting her, we know that, we learned that a long time ago. It’s about creating content and functionality that she’s going to seek out, use or interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Spear likes to climb rocks, so naturally he’s based in Boulder, CO. And yes, Alex Bogusky has him on speed dial.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.