There is no Ideal Age for Entrepreneurship

Article by Aastha

There has been a constant debate whether age or experience matters when you want to start your own business. Many studies were conducted to determine the right age for people to start their own ventures. What is the reason behind anyone’s decision to be an entrepreneur? All of them have their own stories to tell, but few would cite age as a reason.

Let us take a look at the age of successful entrepreneurs when they started their ventures. The ages are, from youngest to oldest:  Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at age 20, Bill Gates started Microsoft at 20, Steve Jobs started Apple at 21, Michael Dell started Dell at 19, Larry Page started Google at 25, Uday Kotak started Kotak Mahindra at 26, Ritesh Agarwal started Oyo Rooms at 21, N. R. Murthy started Infosys at age 35, Naresh Goyal started Jet Airways at age 43, Col. Sanders started KFC at 62, and the list goes on. As seen here, age is definitely not a deciding factor to starting a venture and making it successful.

Reality is that many studies and researchers have pinpointed 40 as the magic number for entrepreneurship. The logic behind this reasoning is that at 40 you are young enough to handle all the hard work that is expected when you start your business and you have enough experience under your belt to leverage it profitably in your new business.

The young entrepreneurs

With the recent developments in the world of technology and the Internet of Things, we are seeing a number of young entrepreneurs entering the foray of start-ups everywhere across the Globe. Of course, the number of teenage success stories may be the inspiration for many of these start-ups. But this is the generation that literally grew up with technology and most of them are tech savvy and they use this tool as their base to enter the business world. Most start immediately after their studies and some even drop out of college to venture out on their own. The young entrepreneurs have a higher appetite for taking risks than those in their 30s or 40s.

In recent times there has been a lot of media coverage about young entrepreneurs making it big in the business arena. This has created an impression that young entrepreneurs in their teens or early 20s have a greater success rate. But that is only one side of the picture; there are several success stories where the founders are well in their 40s, 50s or even 60s.

It is a general understanding that most tech start-ups or technology related start-ups have young blood at the helm but LinkedIn was started by Reid Hoffman who was 35 when the company was started and made it public at age 43. Few factors that are impacted by age over the years are the number of hours that go in when starting your own business. You need an immense amount of energy which is generally associated with younger people. But again here, there are people who have started their own businesses well past their prime.

Venture capital investors are of the opinion that it is not safe investing in a company with youngsters at the helm. They feel that these young CEOs make too many mistakes. But again there are instances where youth have completely surpassed expectations, for example, Emerson Spartz who launched Mugglenet, the largest ever Harry Potter fan site with over 10 million unique visitors per month, has achieved this milestone at the age of 12.

Overall analysis proves very clearly that age has nothing to do with being an entrepreneur. It is about being ready for the big leap. The right time or the right product or service can be your big break into the business world – no matter how old or young you are!

                                                                                                                                                    

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