Fast Company

Examining Risk Takers: Segments, Stats, Brands, Facts

What does Shaun White, Sergey Brin and Anthony Bourdain have in common (besides stacks of cash)? Each represents a generation of Risk Takers. Shaun White is Gen Y’s Adrenaline Junkie, Sergey Brin is Gen X’s New Venturers and Anthony Bourdain is Boomer’s Travelista. Each segment thrives on exploration, whether it’s a landing a double cork, launching a dream venture or tasting the local flavor of Vietnam. Defining Characteristics Adrenaline Junkies Shaun White solidified his legendary status when he became the first snowboarder to land a double cork. He is the Adrenaline Junkie archetype. White lands impossible tricks before anyone else in snowboarding. He follows on the Adrenaline Junkie heals of legendary skateboarder, Tony Hawk. This elite athletic group dates back to Amelia Erhart and the Wright Brothers — some of the first extreme Adrenaline Junkies. Now, the Tony Hawks’ and Shaun Whites’ are jumping out of aircrafts to push the boundaries even further. Key Facts: * In 2005 over 25 percent of 16–24 year olds had participated in extreme sports, a growth of over 10 percent since 2003, according to Hospitality.net * Shaun White’s annual income is around $6 million, estimates industry insiders Brand Profile: Olympics, X-Games New Venturers New Venturers are typically Gen Xers who have left the corporate world (either willingly or unwillingly) to start their dream venture. They are confident in their experience and dedication to make their small business succeed. Gen Xers are often New Venturers — as Boomers want to de-risk their lives for retirement and launching a startup isn’t a wise idea, and most Gen Yers do not have the industry experience under their belt to undertake a small business. Key Facts: * Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, founded the company at 25 years of age * 30 percent of today’s workforce (about 42 million people) are either freelancers, independent contractors, part-time or temp workers, according to Money Magazine Brand Profile: Google, Entrepreneur.com, VentureBeat, TechCrunch Travelistas Travelistas are addicted to exploring foreign lands. When they are not booking a flight to a distant paradise, they are hooked to Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmer...

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