Why Smart Brands Hire Yuccies

Are you looking to hire better staff? Do you see your business asa Smart Brand? Are you tired of Millennials and Hipsters? If you haven’t been living under a rock, you should know that Yuccies are now the most sought after employees and tonnes of smart companies and Start Ups are looking to hire them.

What’s a YUCCIE you may ask and how can you spot this new talent so you can hire a YUCCIE employee? Let me explain.

Gen Y

First there was the constant banter about Gen Y employees and why they are useless and self-centred.  This was the period where many self-professed experts published blogs on why we should not hire these self-centred “i” kids (this was way before the word Start Up become a buzz word on LinkedIn).

The Hipster

Then came the Hipster wave; the most derided social subgroup who shaped much of the last decade with their cool Start Ups and gadgets (not to mention their beards, fashion and detached discontent). But just as we made fun of them we also embraced their wit, energy and creativity.  However, most hipsters got all confused because no one wanted to admit that they are one.  …many of us began asking, “How can you hate something that doesn’t exist?”


Then, the term GYPSY circulated the Start Up world when Tim Urban introduced this group to us as the “real Hipsters” and he stated that GYPSYs are delusional (Generation Y Protagonists and Special Yuppies).  Growing up being told that they are special resulted in them developing feelings of entitlement.   Posts and blogs about this phenomenon are widespread, with the better ones basically illustrating how ‘Happiness = Reality – Expectations’.

I have news for you!  I have worked my way through the GenY – Hipster – GYPSY – Millennials jungle over the last few years, helped many employers hire some of the best of them and I discovered recently that the new “in” type of excellent employee is the Yuccie.


Millennial? Hipster? Yuppie? All of these, or none? Yuccies – Young Urban Creatives.

Yuccies are hardly mythical creatures. If you live in a metropolitan area like Melbourne, Sydney or Auckland you probably know plenty. They’re social consultants coordinating #sponsored Instagram campaigns for cool new brands; they’re bro-grammers building, marketing or designing the new “Uber” of online shopping or crowd-shared yoga for dogs; they’re boutique entrepreneurs flogging sustainably harvested bamboo sunglasses on the latest IOS or android app.

Getting rich quick would be great.  But, getting rich quick and preserving creative autonomy… well that’s the Yuccie dream.

Anecdotally, I work in a space with all sorts of Yuccies, such as the former digital marketing employee who now runs a music festival Start Up, an MBA grad who switched to super-niche men’s underwear e-commerce, and a former corporate sales professional who now owns a bike shop selling Fixies to hipsters. Win-lose-pivot. Traditional to creative. In other words: Yuccie.

And those are just some of Yuccies I’ve met and work with. Strangers (or their PR people) have pitched me a Yuccie storyline 100 times: this former marketing junior who left his corporate job to pursue his true passion: making colourful socks! Letterpress stationery! Crowd gaming on social networks! Organic artisan products online!

There’s nothing wrong with any of these people, nor their letterpress stationery. Yuccies want to get paid for their own ideas, rather than executing someone else’s dream, and that’s why they are great creative employees and one of the reasons why so many companies prefer them over Hipsters and Gen Ys.

Hipster is OUT

A few years ago Yuccies might have been hipsters. Remember hipsters? …trust fund bike shop owners; rustic barn wood reclaimers; party-addled graphic designers sneaking back home on Sydney’s Oxford Street in the wee hours of the morning. In hipsterism, you can see the development of yuccie hallmarks: DIY entrepreneurship; niche online and mobile marketing; ability to leverage new technology; multitasking with 10 cloud based apps whilst editing a new blog etc.

But these days, the hipster — the real hipster — not the bullshit marketing facsimile that still dominates advertising today, is dead. He has traded warehouse parties for yoga retreats; she has become a tool of corporate marketing earning serious ‘freelance/crowdsourced dollars’ whilst selling compact Teslas or Suppertime Home Delivery Food. Hipster is so yesterday – it is so generic.

And anyway, hipster doesn’t line up culturally with who yuccies are. To use many of the staff I see here in my Start Up sphere as an example again: their arms aren’t covered in tattoos; their credit is good; hell, they even have private health insurance. Oh, and their basic, un-waxed facial hair, like the rest of them, wouldn’t have rated in the cool days of peak hipsterism.

Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters. They work harder and they intend on being successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. Yuccies define themselves by their purchases, just like other cohorts (sure). They identify by price and taste level: $150 sneakers, $20 six-packs of craft beer, trips to Byron Bay, Mykonos and Whistler. How much it costs (high or low) is immaterial if the thing bought validates their intellect/style/creative energy.

You cross the yuppie’s thirst for money and recognition with the hipster’s anti-ambition, smoke-laced individualism, sprinkle on a dose of millennial entitlement, and the yuccie is what you get.

The new Yuccie employee

So, there you have it.

Oh, and before I forget, Yuccies need to be told, repeatedly and at length, that they have valuable ideas… that their talent is singular… that they’re making a real impact.  The size and location of it is less important than the fact that it’s shaped like them.

That’s the cynicism of privilege. That’s what yuccieism is. Don’t be ashamed of hiring them. They will help you shape your business and bring success, and hey, if any of what I wrote here sounds like you, don’t be ashamed either. You are a sought after employee. But please, do us all a favour and don’t be proud of it either. You are the new breed of valuable employee.

So, let’s get on with it. Hire a Yuccie in 2016 but always remember to hunt wisely!


IMAGE credit: B. A. GREENE