Is 30 Too Old To Work In A StartUp?
Alex Holderness
151

30 seems like an interesting threshold. Realizing the startup scene is focused differently today than it was when I lived in Silicon Valley fresh out of college in the early 1980s, it seems to me that the successful startup founders I’ve known have typically been in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.

Yes, there’s a place for what Tracy Kidder in The Soul of a New Machine called “kids” (I was one when that was written) or more precisely “assassins”. They are the high potential people with the fresh knowledge, the stamina to work hard, unencumbered with any knowledge of what can’t or shouldn’t be done (much less the ever feared “but this is how we’ve always done it”). But the kids need to be set loose on a focused problem within the right constraints.

And yes, one of my son’s Stanford classmates became a unicorn billionaire in a recent IPO. So I’m not saying a 20’s founder can’t be quite successful.

But let’s not underestimate what more experienced folks can accomplish, both as founders and as doers.

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