When people pick up Anthill for the first time, they often ask, “Is Anthill just for young entrepreneurs?” My answer is a resounding, “No.”
Anthill is not for young entrepreneurs.
Rather, it is for people young in mindset (irrespective of age).
I then get asked, “But isn’t entrepreneurship a young person’s game?”
To begin answering this question, here’s a snapshot of our readership…
As you can see, a clear majority are over 35. And further, these statistics only represent the people who subscribe online.
There seems to be a misconception that innovation is only for minds untethered by the binds of experience.
Living legends, who spawned vast empires from dorm-rooms and suburban garages, such as Gates, Jobs, Brin and Page, perpetuate the idea. And media outlets (including Anthill) love to spruik the success of young gun entrepreneurs.
Why wouldn’t we!
But, if that’s the case, if entrepreneurship is only for the young, why are our statistics so back to front?
In the words of WIRED Magazine:
The twentysomething Web prodigies are fun and all, but the veteran visionaries will save the world.
A recent study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation surveyed 652 US-born CEOs and heads of product development who founded high-tech firms in the boom (and bust) years of 1995 to 2005 and discovered that both the average and median ages were 39 – far older than the mythic dorm-room visionary.
What’s more, the chronologically advanced are especially successful at solving the problems that we desperately need solved:
Mature entrepreneurs tend to launch startups that require huge amounts of capital – biotech companies, energy firm, outfits that make expensive hardware. Then, to take their innovation to market, they have to navigate complex entrenched industries, which requires connections.
Whereas the fearless (and perhaps naive) young’ens will not hesitate to throw their attention at a cool, new social networking app, because the startup costs are so low, while the rewards are so great (apparently), the older folks seem stuck with the heavy lifting – solar energy, health tech, energy efficient transport etc.
Whitney Houston once crooned, “I believe the children are our future.” Maybe she, too, had it back to front.