Somehow, in the last 2 years, VCs and others seem to have concluded by group-think that only young founders can start great internet companies.
Like this is such a new thing? Did we forget about guys like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who dropped out of college to start a couple of interesting start-ups?
The fact is, and always has been, software that:
- can be built by a smart kid or two,
- typing alone,
- copying/improving something (a better version of XXXX),
- distributed for free one way or another,
- without business domain expertise required,
will often be the domain of the young.
Luckily, SaaS can favor old people, over 30, or even older. SaaS often needs some combination of:
- capital to get going,
- a cross-domain team to start,
- sales and marketing,
- richer MVP feature set,
- business domain experience, to understand customers and workflow and business processes.
See, e.g., Salesforce.com or NetSuite or Successfactors or Workday. All started by old people, well over the age of 30. Young people can do it, too, but those products often are hatched in the consumer-ish space and meet the first set of bullets before they tilt.
So don’t sweat the young talk. It’s somewhat true, but nothing new. And luckily, SaaS is good for old people.