It’s been 10 years since I started investing in technology startups. When I first started as a 21 year old, I was very young. While youth is an asset in being a user of and understanding the latest technologies, it’s a liability in terms of understanding how businesses and the people that work within them operate.
Now that I’m 31, although I’m still younger than most startup investors, I’m at a better balance between understanding both the technology side and the business side of the equation. I imagine that, around the age of 35 to 40, your understanding of both sides reaches a similar level.
After that, while you continue to grow wiser in terms of understanding people and businesses, your understanding of current technologies begins to decline. Taking most venture capitalists as a proxy, my intuition suggests that it’s difficult to be a great startup investor after the age of around 60.
I used to think that I would invest in startups for the rest of my life. I’m now coming to realize that, if I live long enough, this is unlikely to be the case. That’s the downside.
The upside is that I’ll get to try something new after the age of 60, give or take a few years. In line with the skills that I’ll have at that age, it will likely require a more limited understanding of the latest technologies, and a greater understanding of people and businesses.
I wonder what it will be.