The Folly of Age as a Number

Source:  Linkedin, December 19, 2012

Author:  Brian Wong

While many college graduates bemoan the “sorry, we are looking for someone with experience” result of a job interview, Brian Wong exposes another (very positive) side of being young and the value of youth in today’s business world.  In this article, he explains what he believes are the five benefits of being young that enable the inexperienced entrepreneur to be successful.


“Whenever I find myself being interviewed, I usually get asked this question (in one form or another) at least once: how has being young affected your ability in business?

I find myself responding with pretty much the same answer every time: age is not about the number, but rather about the way you think.

For me, being 21 (and having started my company at the age of 19) gives people the quick “novelty” giggle factor. After they get over that, it’s all back to business. In Silicon Valley, this is even less of a novelty. At the age of 21 (and I’m sorry to everyone that this offends), I am pretty much “old.” There are entrepreneurs now gaining significant traction, raising money, and building amazing companies – all before they even turn 18.

So beyond the giggle factor, what else is there behind age (or the lack thereof)? For me, it’s a combination of five things: the license to learn, the never-ending source (or what seems to be) of passion and energy, a sense of wonder, not knowing the rules (or the “way” to do things), and finally, seeing the best in everyone.”

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