Date: December 6, 2018
Time: 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Livestream at 6:30
Speaker: Soraya Darabi
The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed, the Sci-Fi author William Gibson famously said. That insight has inspired many a trendspotter to seek a glimpse of the future before everyone else comes to understand that it’s actually the next big thing. Almost all businesses – from early stage investors to small firms to multinational corporations – wrestle with some form of trying to figure out what leading consumers really want now, and what the bulk of consumers will obviously want tomorrow. Soraya Darabi, our next guest at What’s Now: New York, is a bonafide expert in figuring out what’s cool now that’s coming next. The relatively young entrepreneur co-founded a couple highly successful venture-backed businesses, the retail startup Zady, one of Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative retail companies in 2014, and the Foodspotting app, acquired by OpenTable. She went on to found her current company Trail Mix Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in trend-setting companies that are primarily appealing to the Millennial Generation.
The Millennial Generation is America’s biggest generation and now ages 36 to 22. Millennials are not kids anymore – they are the key consumer demographic that increasingly drives the economy. One key differentiator is that MIllennials value experiences over things. These can be physical experiences, or even mental experiences. Soraya says these experiences often have something to do with living well, leading more healthy, balanced lives. She also says when it does come to buying things, they want fewer but better things. Look at some of the most successful new companies that are connecting with Millennials: like Allbirds, the unicorn selling wool shoes, or Sweetgreen, promoting simple, seasonal, healthy food, or Casper, upending the old-school mattress business. They all have some common characteristics like selling direct to consumers, partly to drive down prices for hard-pressed Millennials, but mostly to build a direct relationship with them. These pioneers as showing the way forward for many businesses. Join us as we explore this future of consumer products and experiences and get a better glimpse of what’s coming next.