Wait, what? These Twitter reactions are all of us.
Ah, yes, the Forbes "30 Under 30" list. It's a list that many people yearn to be on, and one that is pretty dang impressive, TBH. But if you're not familiar, you might be scratching your head: "What is 30 Under 30?"
We'll cover exactly what the list is, but that's not all. For many of us, we assumed the list was pulled together—no, curated—by a board or panel of some type, sleuthing around social media, sneaking around businesses like mystery shoppers or Undercover Boss. As long as you were killing it in your role and were still under 30, there was a chance that you could be recognized!
Well. That's not quite it. We'll get there. But first, what is this infamous list, anyway?
What Is 30 Under 30?
Forbes features a list of 600 individuals under the age of 30 each year, who have impactful careers and/or accomplishments across a span of industries—healthcare, science, consumer technology, Hollywood, retail, social media, sports, finance and more—each separated into categorized lists.
Some of the 30 Under 30 alumni include Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek, singer Miley Cyrus and many other names that you may or may not be familiar with.
Launched in 2011, this annual list has become pretty well-known, and since it covers so many different types of settings and industries (some of their other listed categories include social impact, manufacturing & industry and education), it almost seemed like maybe, just maybe, anyone could be honored with this kind of recognition.
Maybe, if someone worked hard enough no matter where they lived and worked in the world, their efforts would be noticed by a mysterious board of individuals who were always watching out for rising talent.
However, it turns out, there's more to these lists than some of us naively thought.
After all, Forbes explains about the process: "Reporters, editors and expert judges consider a variety of factors, including: funding, revenue, social impact, inventiveness and potential. Nominee shortlists are shared with each category's four-judge panel who select the final 30 listees in their assigned category."
Key words: nominee shortlists. Each year, there is an application process where you can apply to be considered (or nominate someone you know).
While it does make sense, I guess, I wasn't prepared for this information when I initially learned about it via social media. It all started when I was scrolling through Twitter and a viral tweet caught my eye: "Just learnt the 30 under 30 is something you apply for and I feel like everything is a lie."
Huh?! Obviously, I had to click, because this was news to me. And as silly as I felt with this new realization, at least I knew I wasn't alone. After all, the responses that flooded in were filled with a lot of the same reactions of surprise.
"Wait omg what" is right.
We can't believe it.
Silly, yes. But same, TBH.
We'll help spread the word.
That all-caps response nails it.
Actually, THIS all-caps response nails it.
It does feel like a shift has taken place.
What in the who now? Indeed.
Oh, I like this mindset!
We're all in this together.
Happy to oblige.
But maybe they're still sleuthing on LinkedIn...?
I'm not ready.
Not the Pulitzer too!
Welp, just went down that Hollywood Walk of Fame rabbit hole.
Another user said that ad agencies may pay the fee.
We're uncovering so much!!
I see your point.