Senior Editor at The Atlantic
Derek Thompson is staff editor for the Business Channel, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, and the author of its 2015 cover story “A World Without Work,” about the future of technology and employment. He also writes the business column for the magazine and contributes to the website on issues ranging from behavioral psychology to the economics of entertainment. “[Thompson] writes and edits economic news that is readable, informative, and often entertaining,” said The Huffington Post.
Thompson is a weekly contributor to “Here and Now,” the national afternoon news show on NPR, and he appears regularly on CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Columbia Journalism School. He has appeared on numerous lists, including Folio’s 15 Under 30 in Media. Thompson is currently working on his first book about the science of hits in pop culture.
Is There an App for That? Consumer Habits of the Millennial Generation
What’s the deal with people under 35? This age group, known as the Millennial generation, is taking longer than ever to finish school, get out of debt, and start their careers. And, because of that, sales of houses and cars have declined. Enter Derek Thompson, Millennial expert. Thompson explores the consumer habits of this generation, shedding light on what kinds of ads they pay attention to, what manner of media they consume, and the sort of messages they accept and reject. His keynote reveals the behaviors that drive this demographic, including: the decline of the suburb and the rise of urban centers; the “sharing economy” of apartment rentals and car sharing; Gen Y’s dependence on their new status symbol, the smartphone; new ways of communicating such as Twitter and SnapChat; and how our global economy has made essentials such as food and clothes more affordable than ever before. What should corporations and retailers be doing to target this slippery demographic? Thompson’s keynotes present audiences with the facts they need to get in front of the technology-driven, informed, and connected Millennials.
Millennials at Work
How are Millennials different than older workers? And why should companies take the time to figure out how to integrate them more effectively? In this talk, Derek Thompson makes a case for Millennials at work. He shares the benefits—as well as the pitfalls—of working with younger people, starting with basics like understanding how Millennials use technology (and how it can improve intra-office communication). He shares tips for finding and identifying young leaders, optimizing flex-time to create an efficient work environment, and bridging the expectations gap between college seniors, who are taught to expect choice and customizability, and working-world "freshmen," who often express frustration at their highly specific jobs. He also delves into the sorts of jobs that are growing the fastest and whether young people are "ready" for them. Employers shouldn’t hesitate to hire Millennials, says Thompson—a little understanding can go a long way to a better, more efficient, and more profitable business.
The Future of Paid Media: Cable TV, Mobile Ads, and Why ESPN Makes the Biggest Bucks
Why are we still paying for hundreds of channels we don’t watch? Why do Google’s mobile ads only earn half the amount of desktop ads? And why is ESPN the most valuable single media property in America? Derek Thompson’s provocative talk on the future of paid media addresses these compelling questions. Drawing on the research and interviews conducted for his business column in The Atlantic, Thompson speaks candidly about the importance of audiences and monetizing their attention. He lays down what most people don’t understand about the business of cable TV and how it’s still cheaper—and more popular—than services like Netflix, HBO GO, and Hulu. He describes the current limitations of mobile ads—lack of user-tracking technology, poor design, difficulty measuring conversion rates—and looks to the future of place-based advertising and interactive ads for mobile. Thompson brings it all together in a case study of ESPN, which relies on the simple formula of two-thirds TV subscription fees plus one-third advertising to bring in more than $10 billion in revenue in 2013. How does the future of paid media look for advertisers, consumers, and media conglomerates? Thompson’s keynotes provide audiences with a comprehensive and relevant outlook on this developing issue.
Schoolâ€™s In: Why Going To College is Still Essential
Why are we all of a sudden bombarded with the message that going to college is a bad idea? The media is reporting that rising student debt is a dangerous bubble that will pop and destroy us; that college is broken as a vehicle for helping people get into the middle class; and that real innovators skip college and go straight to Silicon Valley or Union Square.
Derek Thompson couldn’t disagree more. In this talk, he makes a case for the value of college and refutes these trendy (and potentially harmful) messages. Thompson argues that there really is no student debt "bubble." Yes, there are a handful of colleges that cost way too much and essentially operate as drop-out factories, and yes, the cost of college has increased relative to incomes in the last 30 years. But college, by and large, still "works." College grads make more money than non-college grads. They are significantly more likely to be employed. They are significantly more likely to be happy in their jobs. And to the extent that college is a magnet for smart ambitious people, they are more likely to make smart and connected friends and marry smart and hard-working people. This optimistic talk delivers good news to college students: all the evidence is on their side. When young people make a big investment in their human capital by going to college, Thompson says, it's going to pay off.
Great American Media Services
Derek was great! Reviews on his presentation were outstanding and he was a pleasure to work with.
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