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Is It Too Late?

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February 4, 2019

No.  It’s never too late to get started.  At least that’s the message we should be receiving.  Instead, many innovative, curious and entrepreneurial folks choose to sit out on the sidelines at the behest of the excuse of time. 

So this week, we’re wondering is there ever a right time?

It’s pretty risk to launch a company.  There are many factors to consider:  known unknowns, speculative uncertainties, and most relevant here, is the idea that age ain’t nothing but a number. 

Surprisingly, however, late bloomers are in.  This 2018 study  surveyed 2.7 million founders and found that the average age of a successful startup founder Is 45. We ought not distill this data to click bait.  The study not only surveyed 2.7 million founders, but measured success through several qualifying lenses of high performance:  employment growth, sales growth, as well as IPO exit or acquisition.

What’s more, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old.  So, what gives?

Masters of Your Domain

A life that consists of deep learning in a single field or a masterful command of many provides a important combination of domain expertise and practical experience.  This expertise enhances our proclivity to understand the unique pain points, industry nuances, and customer needs that our solutions seek to address. 

In regions where our largest markets find roots in unsexy, highly regulated, or somewhat confusing sectors (like trade and logistics, life sciences, aerospace or healthcare), the application of block chain, IoT, A.I , machine learning or other innovation to traditional industries is where our best opportunities lay. It’s where domain expertise and experience becomes all the more critical to the success of ventures that offer scalable solutions to complex problems.

When You Move, I Move 

All this start-late-startup talk is not designed to discourage young founders.  Indeed, generational diversity is associated with successful high growth teams.  However, there’s an inspirational capital value for young founders to access mentorship and leverage the experience of their more seasoned peers. 

Anyone who believes the adage, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you,” never launched a company.  In reality, failure, success, and everything in between simply decreases the things you don’t know and provides more opportunities to hone your skills, strategies and execution acumen.

This is, perhaps, the more appropriate question:  is your time now?


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