Ageism in Silicon Valley

I just wrote a lengthy piece on ageism in Silicon Valley over at LifeTwo.

valleywag-chart.jpg

This is the “analysis” done by ValleyWag. Unabashedly unscientific but noteworthy nonetheless.

I’m going to use this blog to clarify points as they come up. First, is that while I believe that Silicon Valley is inherently (at least currently) ageist, I’m not passing judgment on them any more than I would pass judgment on the music business for not signing new acts that are in their 40s. Both are simply playing the odds as they figure out where to place their bets. If experiences have been better for VCs with younger founders then why shouldn’t that be a legitimate factor? If they turn out to be wrong then whoever has the foresight to look past age will then end up generating superior returns over the ageists. Then other VCs seeking those superior returns will stop using age as a factor. Unless and until that happens, expect Silicon Valley ageism to continue.

Here’s an interesting take from Rob Hyndman:

I’ve also noticed that older clients tend to be much more negative and cynical about the world. There are many exceptions to this, thankfully. But as a general rule, what I hear from younger clients is “yes, let’s try it”, and what I hear from the older ones is “no, it won’t work” or “here are a bunch of reasons why not”. Smart, well-thought out reasons, to be sure. But obstacles to success, nonetheless.

For background on the ageism meme go to this post.

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