Sunday, May 1, 2011
Internet Entrepreneurs Are Like Professional Athletes, They Peak Around 25
"Consumer Internet entrepreneurs are like pro basketball players," a venture capitalist told me recently while discussing the prospects for a thirty-something founder, "They peak at 25, by 30 they're usually done." Why? Because young entrepreneurs are more creative and imaginative, and are willing put 100% of their lives into their startups, he said. "It's not a guess, this is a data driven observation," says the VC. He had a number of caveats. First, this only applies to consumer Internet entrepreneurs. Enterprise and hardware startups tend to do better with older founders, where experience (and direct sales experience) matter a lot. And there are plenty of founders that, like Michael Jordan, can peak way beyond 25 (and the peak basketball age is really probably at least a 27). "Those tend to be the repeat success founders," he said, "the rules don't apply to them."