Here at Next For Me we’re fans of Joseph Coughlin’s work at the MIT Age Lab and his new book The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market. An excerpt from the book is now online.
The excerpt sets the stage for the disconnect in the workplace (especially in tech) and the financial power aging boomers offer to the economy.
The problem is that most tech companies simply don’t get this deep-pocketed, growth market. Worse, because of the relative youthfulness of tech companies, their leaders are not only missing the biggest market they’re likely to see before they become old folks themselves, they’re also overlooking the job candidates who could help them tap it as well.
If the innovations of today for the enormous population of older consumers are designed and produced by younger talent there will always be a disconnect. This is most prevalent in tech where only three of 18 top companies have a median age of 36 or higher. And for the Googles and Apples who are truly driving innovation the median age is 30. The amount of venture capital available to founders over 45 is considerably less than for the older founders by a wide margin even though over half of new companies are formed by founders 45 and over. The ageism is even more pernicious in some other countries where tech is strong.
Coughlin continues that there hasn’t been any significant legislation addressing the aging population since the 1965 when congress enacted Medicare and The Older American’s Act. Both vital programs and protections but not an answer for a world moving much faster through technological innovations and the financial reality of a population living much longer.
Link to the full article: Seeking Scale? Think Old.