Jimmy Wales To Silicon Valley: Grow Up And Get Over Your Age Bias

Matt Asay | ReadWrite | September 27, 2013

Silicon Valley frowns on age, yet several of its most successful entrepreneurs argue experience tends to trump youthful exuberance.

Forty is generally the age at which people are jokingly derided as "over the hill." In youthful Silicon Valley, however, irrelevance comes much sooner. Citing youthful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, tech entrepreneurs tend to think of themselves as past their prime if they aren't worth a billion dollars by the age of 35, or even 25. But according to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and other successful tech entrepreneurs, this thinking is as wrong as it is dangerous.

And Jimmy Wales should know.

Silicon Valley's Age Bias

According to data from Payscale reported by Quentin Hardy, the median age of tech workers is young indeed. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show an overall median age of 42.3 for American workers, tech workers skew much, much younger. Only six of the tech companies reviewed by Payscale had a median age (equal number of people above and below a number) above 35.