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We all seem so focused on talking about how our generation has come to accept and embody the idea of delayed maturity. Because of this, we often lose focus on those who render that stereotype completely silly. Sure, maybe some of us have pushed our adolescence a little further into our twenties, but many of us are also out there busting our asses to make something of ourselves. Here are a few Millennials who have already started to prove our generation is capable of doing some pretty awesome stuff.
1. Daniel Ek, CEO Of Spotify
I don’t know if you know this, but I love the Swedes. They crack me up. They’re all good looking in an awesome, completely homogenized way. They live in a little mini utopia where their government takes care of everything for them. Their country is a cold, dark, emotionally repressed society, which, for some reason, cracks me up. Plus, Swedish Chef is my second favorite Muppet. Sweden’s got a lot going for it. It also has Daniel Ek, who is a purely innovative businessman in the tradition of Ford, Jobs, and Cuban. He started creating companies when he was in his teens, and he sold startups to big tech companies in his early twenties. Sure, he could have just retired early, but instead, he created Spotify with one of his friends at the age of 25. Now he remains the CEO of the massive, online streaming service, and has a net worth estimated in the hundreds of millions. Not bad for a dude who just rounded 30.
2. Lena Dunham, Writer And Creator Of HBO’s “Girls”
Look, I’m not going to turn this into a big discussion about “Girls.” I don’t want to talk about the show’s relatability to our generation, or accusations of myopic viewpoints (which is a dumb argument to begin with), or whether America needs to see Lena Dunham naked every week as opposed to every other week. Those discussions bore me. What I’m much more impressed with is that a person with such a singular, creative voice also has the ability to act in and direct the things she writes, let alone that person happens to be 28. She made a movie on her own at the age of 23 that was good enough for Judd Apatow to say, “You’ve got the goods. I’m gonna help you be successful.” Not only did she create “Girls” and take the online criticism community by storm, she received a $3.5 million dollar deal for her first book of essays. That’s right. A multi-million dollar book deal in an era of total decline in publishing. For a compilation of essays. The announcement of that deal really pissed off a lot of people, which I write off as pure envy. “Girls” might not be my cup of tea, but I’m always going to pull for someone who busts her ass creatively and makes her own way in the world.
3. Taylor Swift, Musician
Am I going to get some shit for this? Probably. I’m not sure why, though. Sure, the “Oh, my God, you guys really like me?!” schtick she plays at awards shows and such gets a little old, but overall, I’m not sure why the tide has turned on Taylor. She’s one of the very few pop stars who actually writes a good portion of her own music. I’m not saying she’s John Fucking Lennon, but it’s still nice to see someone take ownership of her art in a world where it would be so easy to call in Dr. Luke or Max Martin and just wash your hands of the whole process in a gold sink that spouts Dom Pérignon. It’s working for her. Not only is she a huge music star, but she’s literally the richest celebrity under the age of 30. Also, I don’t know if you realize this, but Red was a really good album. Like, ridiculously good. If that record had been released by some cute, unknown indie-pop chick with unobtrusive tattoos, Pitchfork, Sputnik, Rollling Stone, and the rest of the music Illiterati would have fallen over themselves to crown it the best album of the year (give Spin credit, they got it right). The point is, can we stop talking down to Taylor Swift and acknowledge that she’s impossibly more talented than most human beings in existence?
4. Josh Trank, Film Director
Josh Trank is one of the first successful, Millennial moviemakers, and it’s even more perfect that he came to success in such a “millennial” way. In 2007, he made a goof-off video about a lightsaber fight at a college party, which got him representation and a deal with Spike TV. He worked for a few years directing in television before helming his first feature length film, “Chronicle,” in 2012. This film made him the youngest director to have a number one movie at the box office, at age 27. Now he’s working on the reboot of “Fantastic Four,” and last week, it was announced he’ll direct a standalone “Star Wars” film. In eight years, he went from a YouTube viral video about “Star Wars” to making an actual “Star Wars” movie. That’s fucking insane.