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August 21, 2014

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Joe Downtown Show: We know who the millenials are, but what are they about?

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Matt Heller

Joe Downtown Radio

Matt Heller and Millenials 101

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Matt Heller, author of “Millennials 101,” talks about how he sees millennials: what they seek, what they desire and what they are bringing to society as a whole.

I remember my first millennial.

It was the day after Zappos announced it was going to move its headquarters from Henderson into downtown’s City Hall.

I was to meet Tony Hsieh at the Zappos HQ in Henderson. Waiting in a nondescript room that employees used as a shortcut, with big windows that everyone could see through, I found it a little strange.

But I figured I’d be escorted to the CEO’s mahogany-walled corner office shortly.

Instead, this “kid” walks in with a blue T-shirt, jeans and sneakers.

“Where’s Mr. Hsieh?” I asked.

"That’s me," he said.

I looked him up and down.

“I’m not playing games,” I said. “I want to talk to the boss.”

He shrugged.

“That’s me,” he repeated.

And that was my introduction to millennials — though, technically, Hsieh, who will turn 40 in a few weeks, is a Gen-Xer.

So who are these millennials? And why don’t executive millennials dress in ties or wear suits? Hsieh could buy and sell our elected officials 100 times over, yet he’s not very political.

Do they cook their own food? What are their mating rituals? Do they believe in a God, do they think we have souls, or do they believe our personalities are the result of invisible quantum interactions? Or the zodiac?

Matt Heller knows the answers to many of those questions.

In fact, he’s writing a book, “Millennials 101,” that he hopes to finish soon.

Heller moved to Las Vegas earlier this year and lives in the Ogden high-rise condo complex. He earned his millennial bona fides identifying generational trends for companies and groups such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Ketel One Vodka, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Adidas and New Line Cinema.

Months ago, he characterized downtown Las Vegas as “the 21st-century watering hole for the millennial migration.”

On this episode of the "Joe Downtown Show," 91.5 FM, KUNV, the Source, I talked to him about how he sees millennials: what they seek, what they desire and what they are bringing to society as a whole. The show can be heard Wednesdays at 7 a.m., or through the podcast attached to this story.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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