Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Silicon Valley's ideal entrepreneur is about 20 years too young, research shows

There is a powerful new study about entrepreneurship with great implications for the economy and those of us in the second half of life.

"A new study found the average founder of the fastest growing tech startups was about 45-years-old — and 50-year-old entrepreneurs were about twice as likely to have a runaway business success as their 30-year-old counterparts."

"The new study by Jones, Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau and MIT's Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim, looked at an expansive dataset and found the most successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged.

"Take David Duffield, who founded Workday in 2005 at the ripe age of 65.  Workday went public in 2012 and today has a $26.47 billion market cap.  Whereas younger founders may benefit from their creative thinking and lesser degree of entrenchment in an industry, the exact opposite qualities work to the benefit of their older counterparts."

"Older entrepreneurs have had years to build their business, leadership, and problem-solving skills, as well as to accumulate the social and financial capital needed to get a startup off the ground. Jones also points out that even companies like Apple and Microsoft that were founded by exceptional young entrepreneurs didn't achieve their most rapid market capitalization growth until later, when their founders were older. The iPhone entered the market when Steve Jobs was in his 50s"

There are almost endless opportunities for older entrepreneurs to meet business and community challenges with innovative entrepreneurial solutions.  Take hold of this option.  Give yourself permission to explore, then plan, then take action.  The world needs you, and the challenge will make you stronger.

Link to the CNBC article quoted above

Sunday, June 24, 2018

AARP's new ad - 'The rules of aging are changing'

AARP has long been an effective advocate for older citizens.  I'm a member.  But it's been hard to get too enthusiastic about their approach to publicity and outreach in the past.

Things are changing.  Lots of smart new approaches are emerging.

AARP brands their Purpose Prize with the great phrase, ' Making a Difference is Ageless.   As a Purpose Prize Fellow, I like that a lot.

They've been posting a new TV commercial that is also a significant change from their past branding.  It's pretty cool.

The spot is called 'The rules of aging are changing.'  It shows a wide range of people from all ages and all walks of life interacting and making contributions.  One of my favorite lines is: "Too old?  Too young?  No, we're in this as one."

There are all kinds of roles for those of us in the second half of life.  Valuable, fulfilling roles that make a difference in our communities, including the role of ageless entrepreneur.

Watch the new spot,  'The rules of aging are changing'

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A major 20 year long shift to older entrepreneurs launching startups

The runway for ageless entrepreneurs - those of us in the second half of life - to launch and grow new enterprises - is wide open.

The recent Kaufmann Index of Startup Activity (2016) highlights a major trend in the American economy that is going largely unreported.

Startups among people below age 44 fell 12.95% from 1996 through 2016.

Startups among people above 45 rose 13.21% 1996 through 2016.

That's a 26.1% shift in entrepreneurship from younger to older entrepreneurs.

And yet the common myth is that startups are the purview of the young.  Policies get made, infrastructure gets built and myths continue around this narrative.  All the while, older entrepreneurs march ahead, setting the pace out of the limelight.

It's clearly not slowing down these ageless entrepreneurs.  New opportunities arise daily.  New problems arise that need solutions. 

Older entrepreneurs have experience, knowledge and networks behind them.  We are ideally positioned to grow new organizations of all kinds to meet this opportunity.

Welcome to the future!  

Download the Kaufmann Index of Startup Activity.  National Trends 2016.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Older Entrepreneurs Do It Better

Carl Schramm, the former President of the Kaufmann Foundation wrote a great article in a recent Wall Street Journal titled, "Older Entrepreneurs Do It Better".

The article points out that, "According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American who are 35 or older are 50% more likely to start a business than their younger counterparts."

The article also points out the value of experience, knowledge, and networks.  "One reason for the prevalence of older entrepreneurs is that it takes some time for people to recognize that their destiny is to start a company.  Their inspiration comes not from college programs teaching them generic entrepreneurship skills but from what they've learned in previous jobs."

Mr. Schramm recommends a series of steps that can be taken to support mid and late career entrepreneurs, including re-tooling to college and university systems to make available training in emerging technologies and business practices.  Small business incubators "should be restyled from hip communal working spaces for young people to office arrangements more suited to midcareer entrepreneurs."

Entrepreneurship is growing rapidly among older citizens for a wide variety of reasons.  This can take the form of for-profits, nonprofits, and everything in between.

Look to your own experience, knowledge, and networks and see where they might lead you.

The article quoted is in the Feb. 8, 2019 Wall Street Journal.  Paid online access, or free in your library.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Japan seeks to become an 'ageless society'

'Ageless' is becoming a trend.

The country of Japan is working to match their society and its workforce to the reality of longer lifespans and lower birthrates.  

Their new concept of an 'ageless society' recognizes that many people in the second half of life remain committed to working, and to contributing and growing their communities

“The general trend of uniformly seeing those aged 65 or over as elderly is losing credibility,” an outline of the new policy said. “The government will review the (current) standardization by age bracket and aim to create an ageless society where people of all generations can be active according to their wishes.”  Read this article in The Japan Times

However, Japan continues to lag in entrepreneurship.  Perhaps a worthy experiment - on a countrywide scale - would be to start small and start smart.  Allow older people who would like to ease into retirement years to start small service businesses that cater to the needs of their peers, the large and growing population of seniors in Japan.  

Small gains in peer-to-peer entrepreneurship, coupled with a graduated pension policy would help balance the macro-level needs of Japan's fiscal policy while inspiring older workers to continue contributing.

An ageless society needs ageless entrepreneurs.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Welcome to Ageless Entrepreneurs

To borrow a phrase from AARP's Purpose Prize,  "Making a difference is ageless."

One of the most exciting and fulfilling ways to make a difference is through entrepreneurship.  

Entrepreneurs make life better:  They fix problems; they use their experience, wisdom, and networks to build solutions that enhance their communities and strengthen themselves.  

Ageless Entrepreneurs is the starting point for those of us in the second half of life that would like to join this revolution.    

Silicon Valley's ideal entrepreneur is about 20 years too young, research shows

There is a powerful new study about entrepreneurship with great implications for the economy and those of us in the second half of life. &q...