Age and Success Factor- in Startups

This post is by LinkedIn Influencer Anj Aradhya, Head of MS Operations, Wireline and CDN, Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson Global Services Ltd.

StartupsWe hear and read lot these days on Startup India, Stand up India and many other Govt. initiated ambitious development programs. Such programs have always done well to economy and society in whichever country they were started with. Outside the old world of developed economies China,  Brazil, Israel, and South East Asian countries including India have shown remarkable progress of varying degree in the recent past in entrepreneurial development. The gravity of the world economy is shifting away from the developed economies and the new world order is becoming economically multi polar one. It is moving away from the dependency on fewer nations to interdependent world towards egalitarian set up.

Coming back to India, perhaps it has to catch up in indigenous entrepreneur development to keep pace with the rest of the world. So it is better late than never situation for surging ahead in this direction and the Govt. initiatives like Startup India, Make- In-India etc. will surely boost this sentiment among  the new and existing entrepreneurs.

The Startups and their Success rate: Forbes, Jan 2015 issue, reports the failure rate of Startups as 90%, which is quite high and speaks of the tremendous risks involved particularly to resources limited countries like India. It tells us the need to ponder over here if we can insure against poor success rate of Startups.

The report further devotes its study on the remaining 10% that succeed and highlights the factors influencing. There are several other similar concurrent reports on Startups all over the world.  In most  such readings what came to my notice as the underlying factor was the Wisdom and Versatility of the founders, which differentiated the most in making the venture a success than even Skills, Talents and energy. The ability to transform to situations, change the plan, adapt new approach, even change the brand etc. becomes important instead of dogged and inflexible approach.  It is even seen the startups with co founders have better success than a solo launch.

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It is always seen the wisdom, that we talk here, is the product of experience and maturity, both of course not necessarily are always there in Startups. Usually it is common to associate startups with young people. However statistics say around 50% of the startups are from the people who are 50 plus in age. The interesting thing is that the success percentage of the startups by those who are above 50 years of age is significantly higher at >60%. This goes to say older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed than their younger counterparts . This is found to be coming from leveraging on their wisdom, experience and more importantly the trust they have built in the society through their long association.

Not surprisingly today we see through published census data, the median age of CEOs of top companies as 55 Years. After all age matters and it matters towards positivism. Does it mean the Leadership Sweet Spot is somewhere between 55 and 60 plus? The studies of course do confirm it as true in executive careers.

This is not to discount the energy of young, talented and brash entrepreneurs. They are required to be encouraged of course with the above caution. They need to be  particularly supported with the wisdom and trust built by the  seniors and experienced so they succeed, after all statistics can seldom go wrong.

Let us wish the Startup India and Startup world become more successful on the shoulders of the accumulated Learning and Wisdom, after all experience counts.

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