It’s a great question so last month we decided to find out who our customers are. Do we cater to a certain demographic, is there such a thing as someone who “looks like a Computer Factory customer.” We have been around since 1995 and Nome made the observation that our business and home customers “do seem to be getting a bit older.” “Sure” I said “but that’s a good thing, it only means that our customers tend to stick with us over the years.” “That may be true” countered Nome, “but it’s probably not a good thing if your toughest competition is the “grim reaper.”
One way to look at your customer base is by generation. Folks born before 1945 (the end of WW2) are members of the “Silent generation” or the “Greatest Generation.” That’s the generation that raised Nome, me and the “baby boomers.” We speak their language and fit like a glove with those two generations. Folks born between 1965 and 1981 are known as Generation X. Most business owners and working folks today are “GenXers.” We notice little difference between the “boomers” and “GenXers” and we get along just fine with them too. Demographic analysts describe “Millennials” as those born between 1981 and 2015. Early “Millennials” (1981-91) seem pretty much like the rest of us but those post 1991 “millennials” are a piece of work. “California Millennials.” under 25 years old are particularly scary. The rap on these folks is that they are selfish, lazy not too bright and virtually unemployable. They are victims of a “dumbed down” education system that elevates social consciousness and political correctness over real learning like science and history. It ridicules success, competition, work ethic and traditional values. These millennials grew up in pay-for- play Shwartenegger/Brown California where everyone is some kind of victim that needs government help. Some curmudgeons live in the hope that most “Millennials” will tumble of a cliff or blunder into traffic while glued to their smart phones long before they can become a “voting bloc” lethal to America.
Fortunately there are plenty of exceptions to the “Millennial” stereotype. We all know many bright, interactive hard working “Millenials” who properly respect themselves and others. Our senior technician Julio Sarmiento’s children, Daisy and Rodrigo and our 21 year old technician Derek stand out as examples. The key to countering the negative influences and leadership vacuum provided by schools, governments and the Internet seems to be good parenting. “Millenials” with parents who provide leadership seem to do well. Parents who allow society to set the norms for their children’s behavior will put their children at risk.
So Nome was right. Our customers are getting older. Americans are becoming far more comfortable dealing with technology than people, especially younger Americans. We don’t trust people so much any more. We shop for products anonymously on the Internet and when we have questions or problems we “Google” them. Sometimes we find the answers we need and sometimes we don’t. “Who the hell goes to the Computer Factory?” Anyone who has a computer question or problem that can’t find an answer.