Monday, July 11, 2011

New Young Thinking Ousts Old Old Thinking

On July 9, 2011, The Washington Post published an article by Laura Keeley entitled “Boston venture capitalists don’t want to let another big one get away.”

It’s about Boston VCs having turned down Mark Zuckerberg’s request for funds.  Off he went to Palo Alto, got funding, and built Facebook, estimated to be worth about $80 billion.  Boston VCs accounted for 11% of U.S. venture capital investments in 2010, down from 15% in 2003.  In contrast, Silicon Valley’s share has risen from 34% to 39% over the same period.

Why did they miss Facebook?  It’s about age, a generational issue.  The average angel investor in Boston is about 55 years old.  In California the average is 32.  Said MIT lecturer Howard Anderson, “To understand things like Facebook, you have to be 19 to 24 years old.  If you’re 56, you don’t quite get it.”

This is how traditional print publishing and media missed the digital (and self-publishing) revolution.  It’s why traditional universities will gradually lose out to much, much cheaper digital learning.  It’s how young Obama used the internet to defeat Hillary Clinton’s old-time political strategy.    And on and on and on.

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