New Republic: Silicon Valley’s Brutal Ageism


There is clearly a media trend with regards to young people and breakout startups, enough even that on the VC side, I’d be willing to accept that the age bias has some place in people’s real perceptions. In more typical employment though, this is eventually going to get tech firms in trouble. I know plenty of people who landed sweet offers (and by sweet I mean six figures) from companies like Google and Facebook straight out of undergrad, and especially after having more exposure to the management world through consulting, I’d question if they will ever do anything other than software development. It’s why the acquisition cycle in tech is a blessed reality: the average 20-something CEO can’t usually run a company with more than one product.

In the long run, this isn’t sustainable. Silicon Valley has, from my perception, a lot of products and surprisingly few cogent business plans. The end result is a few empires building themselves into the infrastructure of the internet (Google, Facebook, Amazon), and flash in the pan products catching everyone’s attention for a few years before being bought out or co-opted. It may all look the same to consumers, but monopoly is a bitch. And it’s clearly not treating the tech employment market very well either.


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