I think that it’s kind of cool that VCs are interested in what teenagers do and how they spend their time. There is probably something to learn there. However, after reading this post/photostream about a panel of teenagers and this blurb from one of my favorite blogs, I think it’s safe to say that VCs doing anthropological studies of teens is about as dangerous as figuring out what mainstream web users want by reading TechCrunch.
In both cases, the opinions of a fairly unrepresentative sample of people (children within 25 miles of Sand Hill Road and the Silicon Valley web 2.0 crowd) can be taken as gospel about the future of this, that, or the other. While I think there is something to be learned by studying early adopters, I sure hope that those who are studying these teenagers realize that the disposable income, technological savvy, and general awareness about all things 2.0 is not uniform within the teen population. Whatever conclusions are drawn by studying either of these populations should be taken with a grain of salt.
It shouldn’t take a panel discussion to realize that teenagers use technology in fundamentally different ways than their parents.