Bill Strauss, generational analyst

Bill Strauss, who co-authored a number of important books on generational dynamics, is dead at 60.

This is a great loss. Strauss and his colleague Neil Howe were responsible for some of the most insightful and important analyses ever done into American generations. Thanks to them we now have a heightened ability to understand the cyclical nature of generations, affording us a tremendous capability to anticipate coming trends.

13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail, their examination of Generation X, literally changed my life. Up until I discovered it in th early ’90s I had no idea about the broad economic and social factors shaping what I thought was my own personal little hell. It seemed to me that there was a rulebook for professional success and that everybody had a copy except me. 13th Gen made clear that it wasn’t just me – I was at the very front edge of a cohort full of people facing the same struggles for the same reasons.

Howe and Strauss’ work (especially Millennials Rising) has since become the cornerstone for a lot of my professional activities, as so much of what I do has major generational implications. Put simply, I could never repay the debt I owe to Bill Strauss, even if I dedicated the rest of my life to trying.

He’ll be missed.

By the way, those unfamiliar with Strauss’ writing may know him as the co-founder of the Capitol Steps, the wildly successful political satire troupe.


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