People obviously love lists, and people love rockstars. Buzzfeed became a thing because of that. There are so many of these arbitrary rockstar lists these days — 40 under 40, 30 under 30, 30 under 30 in tech in NYC, etc etc. Split and diced in so many ways, certainly covering some truly inspirational and amazing individuals. But is this healthy? I don’t have any data to support this but after being in Silicon Valley for 2 years, I feel that there are many cultural aspects of Wall Street’s heyday that is now becoming evident in Silicon Valley: Swinging for the fences to become that superstar before turning 30. Bragging about deals and name dropping like a MF. Wall Street saw the financial crisis. Silicon Valley is starting to see some high profile implosions like Theranos and Rothenberg. Implosions resulting from taking on too much before inexperienced leaders were ready to take on the challenges of swinging for the fences…and then becoming outright fraudulent when things didn’t go their way.
We’ll live to be 100. Work until well past 65. So a 40 year old with ~20 years of experience is only halfway through his/her working life! There’s no rush. Obviously taking opportunities when they’re there is important. But shooting to make an arbitrary list is silly.