Researchers have endeavored to ascertain, among other questions, are entrepreneurs born that way or are they result of their upbringings. One venture capitalist recently chimed on another question: At what age do Internet entrepreneurs peak?
The popular technology blog Tech Crunch reports that according to one successful venture capitalist, the career of an Internet entrepreneur mirrors that of a professional basketball player. “Consumer Internet entrepreneurs are like pro basketball players. They peak at 25, by 30 they’re usually done.” The assertion sparked a spirited debate among the site’s loyal followers, but it left analysts guessing how accurate the unnamed executive is.
The VC told the blog’s founder, Michael Arrington, that his reasoning is based upon a decade of experience working in the industry. “It’s not a guess,” the VC asserted, “this is a data driven observation.” Young entrepreneurs are creative and are willing to devote their lives to their fledgeling companies, neglecting their personal lives – something older people are loath to do.
However, the VC also said that the statement is not meant to apply to all young entrepreneurs, only those who work in the consumer Internet sphere. What’s more, there are a number of successful entrepreneurs who find success within the industry past their prime – though they represent a much smaller percentage than their younger counterparts.
Sports enthusiasts aren’t thrilled with the allusion. Many athletes actually peak well into their 20s and often into their early 30s – but then again, the VC is known for his business acumen, not his understanding of professional basketball players.
It’s exceedingly difficult to validate the VC’s average entrepreneurial peak age claim because there is data supporting the success of both older and younger entrepreneurs, according to divergent studies. Some industries, including the hardware enterprise sectors, are better navigated by older workers with sales experience, according to experts.
Nonetheless, there’s no denying that the VC does have a solid case. A number of successful consumer Internet companies have been founded by young wiz kids, including a few notable ones – Mark Zuckerberg among them.
Regardless of the differing opinions, many students are shifting their career goals toward entrepreneurship, according to a recent study released by CaringtonCrisp. The group’s study, Tomorrow’s MBA 2011,” concludes that a growing number of graduate business students are focusing more heavily on entrepreneurship away from consulting and finance.