Auren Hoffman’s Summation Push for
  January, 2001


This issue:
  * My Brother and His Generation


* Overcoming Being a Saver


* Invading Ads at Ruby’s


* Response:


* Friends of Auren


  Summation Push Pick Links










Summation has been on sabbatical
  since January 2000 ( But now we are back and I hope you can
  expect a monthly push of Summation.



– Auren









I marvel at how much my brother’s generation knows about computers and the Internet.

  The difference between how i grew up and how he grew up (he is 20) is amazing. He
grew up with computers and owned a computer at an early age. Though I
always wanted one, I didn’t get my first computer until I graduated
from high school (a Mac Classic).

brother runs a Linux server out of his fraternity room, programs with
ease, sets up firewalls, email servers, DNS machines, and stays on top
of all the technological developments. All of this is self-taught. And he’s not alone – many of his friends are the same way. The thing Internet pundit Don Tapscott said about Generation Lap is true. In the 1960s we heard about the Generation Gap between parents and kids. Today,
we have a Generation Lap – where the kids are lapping the parents in
what is one of the most important drivers of our economy — technology. For
the first time in human history, the 14-year-old at home knows more
than her 45-year-old parent about one of the major economic drivers of
our time.

  The funny thing is that
the 14 year old probably also knows more about stocks and Wall Street
than their parents (my brother recently helped my mom open a mutual
fund, trade stocks, and manage a portfolio to get better than a CD

  This new generation of kids who will be graduating from college shortly are truly amazing. My brother, because he has his ear to the ground, always knows more about the new hottest things first. When he was in high school he told me about MP3s before anyone ever heard of them. He later told me about Napster before it was cool. My brother is my secret weapon in staying current on the industry. When he graduates, I am going to have to adopt another sibling to stay abreast of the latest developments.

The interesting relevance is how this is going to affect the labor pool. As
you know, we are going to see a big decline in the number of 30-45 year
olds in the job market because of population trends (in the early
1970s, fewer kids per capita were born than in any other time in out
nation’s history). Traditionally this has been the age group that drives the economy. However,
the question is will these new workers with super technical skills be
able to take up the slack that more experienced workers have
traditionally done in the past?

  Only time will tell.




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I’ve been saving my bank records since I was in junior high
  school. I’ve been saving credit card
  records since I got my first Citibank Visa at the age of18. These records have been living in file
  boxes in the back of my closet and I’ve never needed to look at any of them
  or check them. And besides, I have
  copies of all these records electronically now. Last week, I trashed all of my old bank statements, insurance
  papers, credit card bills, phone bills, and more.



Junking my junk was very liberating. I’ll never use my junk or look at it. 



Now, I can’t even imagine what possessed me to save all those pieces
  of paper for all these years. 



(Your thoughts? Write





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I went to Ruby’s restaurant, an old-fashioned
  hamburger and milkshake place in Southern California. I sat down to my huge avocado burger and
  strawberry-banana milkshake and happened to gaze upon their walls and see
  hundreds of advertisements for Coca-Cola. 



These ads were very tasteful and in the 1950’s
  style, but they were clearly advertisements and not art. They told me to "Drink Coke" and
  I started to feel guilty that my milkshake was not supporting the cause. 



Ruby’s must get their soft drinks really cheap or
  have some alternative revenue sources through advertising. So this got me thinking — ads really are
  everywhere. If they can be all over
  restaurants, where else might they be?



Last month I spoke in New York at the Windows on
  the World restaurant (in the World Trade Center). So I went searching for ads and had a tough time finding
  them. I was speaking at a Goldman Sachs
  business services conference and started searching my conference bag for ads
  – I kept coming up short.



I then went to the Windows on the World restaurant
  attendant and asked to see the Coke advertisements. The waitress looked at me funny, smiled, and called
  security. OK, I embellished a little
  — she didn’t smile.



Back at the hotel, I searched my room and found the
  hotel guide that was sprinkled with tasteful ads — not the blatant
  advertisements I was looking for. Then I looked at the paintings on the wall. One was of a mountain that looked suspiciously like a Coors
  ad. Another painting was abstract and
  I swore I saw a Nike swoosh in there. 



My favorite ads are on the 101 in the San Francisco
  Bay Area. There is a billboard every
  5 feet and only a few of them make any sense. And since there are so many, it overkills me when I drive and I
  never remember any of them. But I do
  always remember the big ugly ground sign for "South San Francisco"
  when going north on 101.







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Last Summation we discussed Kozmo’s Y2K error. Jason [] writes
  an altruistic remark:



"Kozmo is the best service in the world. Who cares if they overcharged people? I feel bad purchasing stuff from them at
  such low cost anyhow."









[this section updates you an interesting person
  that is a member of Auren Inc]



Dominick Ibelli



An old high school friend of mine called me a few
  years back to say hello and I’ve been able to stay in touch with him ever
  since. After traveling from job to
  job after graduating college, Dom landed a sales job at a small start-up in
  New York City called Social Circles ( Dom was one of Social Circle’s first
  employees and is now their top salesperson and runs the sales staff. Social Circles is half Party Planner half, but it has over 1300 members who all pay a hefty fee to be part of
  a club that puts together events for single people in New York.





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* NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (
  — when you are at work and you need your PBS fix, here it is.


* Art of Prank Calls (


* Wiretap (
  — the most-read twice-weekly column by Peter Delevett
  * Get a Free House now! — (
  — Is free stuff getting ridiculous? Get a free house.
  * What am I reading? The Hoffman Reading List (


NOTE: Auren Hoffman works for but the opinions
  expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Hoffman.


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  with permission from author.

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