Lessons from #truUSA: Steve Levy is my parents

by Rich DeMatteo on April 22, 2010 · 26 comments

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Sarah White and I led a track at #truUSA on Generation Y.  In the unconference format, we talked about Generation Y and the similarities and/or differences between them and other generations.  Things were going just splendid.  The debate was hitting different parts of the room, from all levels of professional expertise.  Time was winding down, when all of a sudden the universe threw me a slippery curveball.

Sarah and I received a question from the left side of the room.

“Why do you think that Gen Y feels entitled to attain higher level positions, and high salaries so early in their career?”

My response…

“We’ve been told our entire lives that we can accomplish anything we want if we just put our minds to it, and if we have passion, then we can simply bypass the hard work.”

While answering the question, I began realizing that maybe other generations were told the same. My eyes danced around the room looking for someone that might just fall into the Boomer category.  Finally, I made eye contact with my target, Mr. Steve Levy, and he knew exactly what I was about to ask.  I started to stutter…

“Umm Steve, do you think that my parents were ummm told similar…”

Before I could finish asking him if his parents and teachers gave Boomers the same level of encouragement that Gen Y received, he cut me off and said…

“Yes Rich, I am your parents”

While the room bursted out into laughter, I finally realized why Steve had called my house randomly a few months back before we had met each other.  It all made sense, Steve Levy is my parents. Just look at us…

Levy DeMatteo

What else did I learn at #truUSA?

  • When your flight is cancelled, you receive a $6 voucher for food.  Thanks for half a beer, Delta.
  • I learned that Craig Fisher (FishDogs) and I are in a bromance called CornDogs.
  • Sarah White doesn’t mess around.  When she says she’s taking you to the worlds largest indoor water park, she means it.  Oh, and when she hits her head while going down the ride, and is dumped into 9 feet of water, it’s not only scary, but very funny. Scary for the life guard, but funny for me.
  • Shaune Moreke laughs just as much in person, as she does on HRHappyHour.
  • Richard Long confirmed that New Zealanders love Flight of the Conchords.
  • Margo isn’t a bad driver, unless she’s in Wisconsin.
  • Ryan Leary is just way more Philly than I am, and I’ll have to live with it.
  • Rayanne Thorn and I need to have many more conversations about blogging.
  • Steven Rothberg learned more than he wanted about corn.
  • I look up to Andy Gregory.  Both because the man is very bright, and because he’s way tall.
  • Jerry Albright will probably call me Corn for the rest of my life, and I’m very OK with that.
  • Bryan Wempen and Michael VanDervort are people that I NEED to learn from.
  • Kevin Grossman has further encouraged me to just go with it and let life happen.

Gimungous thanks to Geoff Webb, Bill Boorman, and Maha Akiki for the wonderful event!

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