Visualizing the future.

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 10.29.24 PM



This pottery is the future.




OK, not the pottery itself.

What the pottery represents… is the future.




Our future.




This artwork represents the age distributions of the US and Mexico, respectively. And the ages of our citizens allows us to gaze into the future.




And so, this pottery is the future




Newborns on the bottom.

100 year-olds on the top.

All other ages assembled accordingly.




What’s the most noticeable feature of the US age distribution?



The widest part near the top, right?

These are the Baby Boomers.



This image alone explains the social security/medicare/pension/bingo shortfall/etc. quite easily. The largest age group in the US is movin’ on up.




10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 19 years.

That’s a lot.




Now contrast the US pottery with that of Mexico.


Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 10.29.24 PM



Mexico looks like an obsidian Christmas tree.

Or an inverted tornado.




In Mexico, each successive generation is larger than its predecessor.

And it’s getting bigger.



What’s that mean?








Median ages help us interpret this another way.



The median age in the US: 37

The median age in MX: 27



The median age of Mexicans in US: 25

So what?



The “so what?” is this: We’re in this together for a long time.



Keep calm and buy demographic pottery.

And Chipotle. 






If you work with or sell to Hispanics – any coherent strategy should include some acknowledgement of the demographic reality unfolding.



Demography is destiny.



Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 10.49.20 PM



Fast Company recently published a story about Walmart’s slow transition to digital retailing against


Neil Ashe, President and CEO of Global eCommerce at Walmart, encourages the Bentonville faithful to think long-term. Not Wall Street long-term, but decades long-term.




“Somebody at one of the board meetings asked me, ‘Neil, how long is this going to take, and how much is it going to cost?'” Ashe recalls. “And I said, ‘It’s going to take the rest of our careers, and it’s going to cost whatever it costs. Because this isn’t a project, this is the company.'”




The demographic change in America is like that.

It’s a long-term commitment.




And it’s OK if everyone is not on board right now.

It will take time.




But like eCommerce, it aint going away.

It will take the rest of your career.

And it will cost whatever it’s going to cost.




But these aren’t good reasons not to start thinking about it today.




Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (, a  training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry. He similblogs these posts at Professional Builder’s Housing Zone.



Categories: Construction Spanish

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