Is Ageism in Technology Real?  Are the companies of our youth redefining age discrimination in Silicon Valley?  Or is it just a new way to build technology companies.

It is hard to tell what is happening but I can tell you as an aging entrepreneur and investor, it gets harder every year to get capital, get press, get customers and  break through as a startup.  The market is full of more young entrepreneurs, more ideas, more players and every day more keep pouring into the space where I invest and operate – digital advertising and marketing technology.  This adds more competition which should make it harder to get capital, customers and to break through.  But the market is getting bigger – no it is getting very very huge very quickly.  That is why all the money and opportunity is flowing to it.

So what is reality.  Is there a conspiracy or under current of Ageism in the market that is affecting people like me operating in Technology and in Silicon Valley or is it just a bunch of angry nay sayers that are getting pushed out by new competition.  People that can’t keep up with the pace of change in how technology companies are being built this decade (and it changes every decade).  Well it is really hard to figure out – so I compiled a bunch of articles below to really show you the full picture.  You can draw your own conclusions.  I know I have mine.

sign up for unlimited access for just $34.97 Sign me up. The Brutal Ageism of Tech Years of experience, plenty of talent, completely obsolete. I have more botox in me than anyten people, Dr. Seth Matarasso told me in an exam room this February. He is a reality-show producers idea of a cosmetic surgeonhis demeanor brash, his bone structure preposterous. Over the course of our hour-long conversation, he would periodically fire questions at me, apropos of nothing, in the manner of my young daughter. What gym do you go to? Whats your back look like? Who did your nose? In lieu of bidding me goodbye, he called out, Love me, mean it, as he walked away. Twenty years ago, when Matarasso first opened shop in San Francisco, he found that he was mostly helping patients in late middle age: former homecoming queens, spouses whod been cheated on, spouses looking to cheat. Today, his practice is far larger and more lucrative than he could have ever imagined. He sees clients across a range of ages.
newrepublic.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

Really this is TL but you MR! I think this is the definative post on the concept of Ageism in Silicon Valley. Actually they go much deeper and talk about the history of Ageism of Technology. You should really block out 30 mintues and read this post and the rest of the articles this author references.

Statistically, older entrepreneurs have the advantage. However there are unique advantages to starting a business at every age. Forbes contributor Liz Kammel gives some interesting perspective in her recent article Start A Company When Youre 25Not When Youre 52 . Liz points out that the younger entrepreneur may have the greater advantage in many respects 1) youre already fairly poor, 2) energy and motivation will never be higher, and 3) you have no fear about challenging the status quo. However, Liz cautions that if a young founders company succeeds in qualifying for a large Series A or B round of funding, the VC will most likely replace the entrepreneur with a more seasoned executive. Consider this finding as well The Kauffman Ewing Instituteposted recent data on how 5,000 start-ups launched in 2004 have fared over time . The report says firms surviving through 2008 were much more likely than firms that exited over the period to have primary owners older than age 45.. Of the 5,000 start-ups in the study, 48 percent were started by founders who were 45 or older. However, a full 64 percent of the surviving companies were headed by entrepreneurs in the 45-and-up group. This is a fairly surprising result.Said the Kauffman report: Previous industry experience and start-up experience had less impact on firm survival prospects than did owner age..
forbes.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

Experience has a huge upper hand in execution but in the race for dollars, presence and the hip factor, the young entrepreneur takes the cake – especially if you are trying to get institutional money and attention

Email. Print. 1 of 6. Jeff Spirer, 61, poses for a portrait in San Francisco, California November 9, 2012. Picture taken November 9, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When Randy Adams, 60, was looking for a chief-executive officer job in Silicon Valley last year, he got turned down from position after position that he thought he was going to nail only to see much younger, less-experienced men win out. Finally, before heading into his next interview, he shaved off his gray hair and traded in his loafers for a pair of Converse sneakers. “I don’t think I would have been able to get this CEO job if I hadn’t shaved my head,” says Adams, who has founded eight venture-backed companies. He is now chairman of the company that hired him, mobile conference-call service Socialdial, and is fundraising for a new business. Adams has supplemented his makeover by trading in his button-down shirts for T-shirts, making sure he owns the latest gadgets, and getting an eyelid lift. Such are the pressures in Silicon Valley, where the start-up ethos extols fresh ideas and young programmers willing to toil through the night. Chief executives in their 20s, led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, are lionized, in part because of their youth.
reuters.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

I am not sure this is a really a “Dirty Secret” now but Age Bias seems to be a little rampant. I am so glad that I don’t have to botox but dressing younger and looking younger really helps with investors, clients and employees if you are a tech company.

Moneyball, valley-style: Investor uses age bias to advantage, funds older entrepreneurs. . SAN FRANCISCO — When he started looking around for start-ups in which to invest, Dan Scheinman noticed something: twenty-something entrepreneurs building Internet companies usually had a much easier time lining up early financing from venture capitalists compared to their forty- and fifty- something counterparts. Age bias, increasingly acknowledged as a widespread phenomenon in Silicon Valley, has created opportunity too. “I was so excited you would not believe when I saw the pattern,” Scheinman, the former head of mergers and acquisitions at Cisco Systems ( CSCO ), recalls. Many start-up investors claim they look for offbeat ideas put forth by gifted entrepreneurs, but in reality they often gravitate toward businesses that resemble past successes. In an era dominated by erstwhile start-ups — including Apple ( AAPL ) , Microsoft, Google ( GOOG ), and Facebook — that were founded by twenty-somethings and teenagers, a veritable cult of youth has many investors looking for the same. But Scheinman, 49, claims good outcomes are possible — with less competition — by doing the opposite. Scheinman has invested directly in eight companies since 2010, all with chief executive officers age 35 or older. On several occasions, he says he has heard the comment, “He doesn’t look like the traditional Internet CEO.”. The companies range from Think Big Analytics to free mobile video-calling service Tango to cloud-computing services company Arista Networks.
mercurynews.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

Scheinman is truly contrarian. He is betting on the older entrepreneur. I hope he succeeds but as an angel investor you need big wins and big wins need lots of capital and this series of articles shows you it is much much harder for older entrepreneur to attract capital. I think Scheinman is coupling his older entrepreneur investment style with focus on enterprise software and SaaS plays that require less capital.

The case for old entrepreneurs. People under 35 are the people who make change happen, said venture capitalist Vinod Khosla , People over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas.. Khosla, who believes that old entrepreneurs cant innovate because they keep falling back on old habits, said this at the NASSCOM Product Enclave in Bangalore, on Nov. 9. Vivek Wadhwais Vice President of Innovation and Research at Singularity University and Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. His other academic appointments include Harvard, Duke and Emory Universities as well as the University of California Berkeley. Failing Americas students: Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of \”The Lean Startup\” spoke with the Post’s Michelle Williams about how the U.S. education system is failing students by failing to reward risk-taking. Silicon Valley VCs talk openly about their bias toward young entrepreneurs. Some argue that Internet entrepreneurs peak at the age of 25. Khosla and those who think like him are wrong. The young may have good ideas, but there is no substitute for experience.
washingtonpost.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

Vinod Khosla is famous for saying “People under 35 are the people who make change happen,” “People over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas.” But if you read the data in this article you will see that the numbers don’t play this out. That the average age of a successful founder is 39. That twice as many successes happen to founders over 50 than to those less than 25. Check out the facts people!

If someone came in right now and announced that the zombie apocalypse had just started outside, what would you do in the next hour? What is something that youre geeky about? What is a superpower you would give to your best friend? These are the types of questions that you could be asked if you apply for a job at Dropbox.Business Insiderculled these and other quirky interview questions from a career Web site, Glassdoor . Dropbox, which provides online storage, is clearly looking for creative people who can think outside the box and wants to make interviews more fun. It is not alone; many Silicon Valley companies ask such questions. The problem is that such questions are fun only for people who understand the jokes and who can think like the young men doing the interviews. They dont lead to better hiring outcomes as Google learned. Its senior vice president for people operations,Laszlo Bock, said last June in an interview withNew York Times, we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time. How many golf balls can you fit into an airplane?
washingtonpost.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

And we wonder why there aren’t that many women in tech when we see not only Ageism but Bro cultures such as these in the Valley

Posted. Box CEO Aaron Levie is credited with bringing sexy back to enterprise startups, but the big surprise in Boxs S-1 IPO document filed today is that Levie only owns 4.1 percent of the company. Meanwhile, Draper Fisher Jurvetson owns 25.5 percent. The numbers reveal Levie sold offmuch of his startup to raise the $414 million that funded Boxs rise to become an enterprise brand name. Another way to put it is that Levie didnt have much choice. Box needed that funding.The startup is not profitable and notes in its plan to raise $250 million with an IPO that we do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future. As Alex Wilhelm lays out in his summary of the S-1 document , Box saw losses of $168 million from January 2013-2014, largely due to huge advertising expenses. It looks like all that equity Levie traded away was to bring in money so Box could seduce enterprise CIOs into buying it. You can see the rest of the cap table above, including COO Dan Levin with 2 percent, and co-founder/CFO Dylan Smith with 1.8percent. These all add up to 72.9percent of the company, leaving the rest of the equity for current and future employees, and what will be sold on the public market. Below you can see how Boxs investors got that equity from its many funding rounds listed in CrunchBase .
techcrunch.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

The real reason for Ageism in Silicon Valley – GREED! I think the money players may be subconsciencely pushing their Ageism agenda because these young hotshot CEOs like Aaron Levie don’t know any better and will take the dilution down to 4.1%. Who is making the money – all the VCs! I mean who in their right mind gives up 6-10% of their company for a incubator session – young entrepreneurs who don’t know any better. The system is built by the VC to control the companies and extract the value for themselves.

sign up for unlimited access for just $34.97 Sign me up. What Zuckerberg Hath Wrought The tech-world teenyboppers who are gobbling up millions. Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters/Newscom. . Robert Galbraith/Reuters/Newscom. . Robert Galbraith/Reuters/Newscom. . Richard Mcblane/Getty Images for SXSW. In 2005, when he was 20, Levie received $350,000 from angel-investor Mark Cuban for Box.net, a Dropbox competitor that has since raised $113 million in venture capital. By 2011, when he was 26, Levie considered himself a wise old man. When youre 22 years old or 25 years old . . . you have no context for the enterprise, Levie told Business Insider.
newrepublic.com
Mar 25, 1:59 PM

8 is not enough. Or maybe it is enough if these 8 are all under 30. Check out this cheat sheet on the young Start-up Founders Making Millions for their VCs

 

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