The 40 over 40: Puncturing the myth of older founders

brilliant piece taking down the age bias against older founders in Silicon Valley

@frankba blogging

The TechCrunch 40 over 40.

I was slack jawed. Sitting across the table from a very successful thirty-something founder I was listening to him lament the hiring of a fifty+ year old CEO for one of his companies. There is no shame in making a bad hire, but he found only one proximal cause for the poor performance: the guy’s age. Listening to his description of that CEO’s failings, I was thinking what a horrible overall fit for the job this person was. Yet the founder’s conclusion was, “I’m never going to hire anyone over 35 again.” My conclusion was: you made a bad hire.

So it goes in The Valley sometimes. Age is strangely a proxy for performance, reflexively, maddeningly inversely proportional. It is irrelevant that the data says otherwise. I think later that week I saw yet another one of Forbes’s lists. I think this one was…

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