Startups · Entrepreneurship

What do you do in Silicon Valley once you are over 40?

Satvinder Singh Web and Graphic Designer at Designer ios

September 27th, 2016

Seams that once you pass a certain stage the Valley might not be the right place to take the leap of faith. What are your thoughts?

Jason Gibb Real Estate, Director & Business Development, MBA, CMA

September 27th, 2016

Youth being good for start-ups is a myth... The actual data tells a different story. More business are started by people over 40 than by people under 40, and they also have a much higher success rate.  According to research by Vivek Wadhwa, an academic and tech entrepreneur, and the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of successful start-up founders in these and other high-growth industries was 40. And high-growth start-ups are almost twice as likely to be launched by people over 55 as by people 20 to 34.  

Michael Leeds CEO & Founder

September 27th, 2016

Only you can let your age limit your options.

There's a quote, not sure who it's from, that goes something like... Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary.

Now just substitute an age for the word "regular".

Chris MBA Director of Finance

September 27th, 2016

Keep working. I am well over that and I do not see any roadblocks ahead!

Robert Lee

September 27th, 2016

I come across this mentality in a lot of places and not just in the Valley. One of the things I sometimes point out when this discussion comes up is the simple fact that Colonel Sanders did not become a millionaire until he was 68! And Kentucky Fried Chicken is still around!

Not only that, I also like rubbing millennials' noses in the simple fact that Larry Paige and Sergey Brin are both in their 40's today and they were smart enough to bring in Eric Schmidt to provide adult supervision as CEO when they were starting out (Schmidt is now Chairman of the Board).

You will NOT gain experience by going to college and you certainly won't learn it out of a book. As a senior still inventing products and launching startups in my 60's, my battle scars are what set me apart from the younger entrepreneurs and allows me to provide insight as a mentor.

Don't know if it's just me but doesn't a lot of this negativity towards senior staffers sound just like how women in tech have also been treated over the years? I always thought that it's what is inside the brain that matters and not what's on the outside.

Rob Kornblum

September 30th, 2016

This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, as I wrote a book called "Never Too Late to Startup" (Lioncrest publishing) about mid-life entrepreneurship.

Ageism is a very real thing in Silicon Valley, although it's a much larger issue for tech workers than for founders. For founders, the primary issue of ageism is in raising venture capital. This issue, like all others in raising money, is solved by putting together a great team and gaining genuine revenue traction.

Jason Gibb points out real statistics (cited in my book as well). Despite the media and the VC bias, the truth is that older founders are more successful in creating companies, including technology companies. Like most things in life, you get better with experience.

Scott McGregor Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.

September 27th, 2016

It is still working for me at 60.

Sharon McCarthy Chief Marketing Officer

September 30th, 2016

My father retired from Apple in his 70's as it's oldest employee. My mom became a stockbroker in her 50's. Age is a mindset. Stay up to date on emerging technologies and the thought-leaders in your field. Bring new ideas to every meeting, and you'll do fine.

Craig Larson Comprehensive Business Development • Analytics

September 27th, 2016

Guy Kawasaki is over 40 ... 
reconstitute your M O with the skills you've acquired
just don't drink as much Red Bull

Irwin Stein Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.

September 27th, 2016

I find the question immature.  I am a helluva lot smarter today than I was 10 or 20 years ago. The companies that I advise get the benefit of a lot of years of experience.  I personally think that the smartest guys in the valley are thinking about how to sell to the group with the most money, baby boomers.  Tech evolves and changes. Good business judgement matures.

Rafael Lamardo Founder CEO at Brained, MSc

September 27th, 2016

Here, the age of your business ideas are more importante than your biological age.