Dot Com Kids Are Back… With A Twist

from the you-invested-in-who-now? dept

Matt Marshall over at the San Jose Mercury News does a nice job pointing out how VCs are back to funding startups with 20-somethings running the show — something that was quite common during the bubble years, but which fell out of favor quickly. However, there’s one big difference this time around that isn’t mentioned in the article. During the original bubble years, for many of these companies the fact that the founders were inexperienced 20-somethings was often used as a major selling point for the company. There were tons of articles profiling young founders, where it seemed like what the companies actually did was secondary. This time around, it seems like more companies have at least figured out that it helps to focus more of the attention on the company and its products.

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Comments on “Dot Com Kids Are Back… With A Twist”

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Jonathon Suggs says:

No Subject Given

As a 20-something that hopes to be running a show sooner than later, I have to understand that I do not know everything. However, those that are already at the top have to realize that even if they did know everything at one point, things change so fast that their methods and knowledge also has to change with the time.

I just hope that the best rise to the top despite the “experience factor” being used either for or against them. Experience is a vital trait. However, take a super sharp kid and throw him into the fire give him a little guidance and as he gets the experience you could end up with a much better investment than a seasoned exec that is nothing more than a seasoned exec.

Denny says:

No Subject Given

Also a twentysomething, the best knowledge comes from your own experiences. My guide is my father who also runs his own business. It’s good to have someone who has the experience to guide you, not do all the work for you. That way you learn and gain from the experience. Having someone older than me work under me doesn’t phase me at all. I think of him or her as a teammate rather than an older, more experienced, manager. This keeps me from being intimidated.

Lee Courtney says:

More Dot-Com Kids...

Few comments and observations.

0. One thing that gets missed in these discussions is the strong mentoring ethic that used to exist in high-tech. Way back when, the first thing a new engineer got on his first day at HP was another engineer to show them the ropes. You know, teach me all the stuff you never learn in school, but you have to know to get things done. Getting a great mentor right out of school was one of the best things that ever happened to me. My mentor (along with my first manager) was smart enough to let me run when I could, and “guide” me when I needed it.

1. I guess its a legit business strategy to stuff a start-up with a bunch of code slaves right out of school, fuel them with free food and soda, pound the drum and crank out a “product”, then flip the enterprise thru an IPO or M&A.

Does long term viability matter? If so wouldn’t it make sense to help forge dot-com kids into substantial long term assets?

Naw! That’s so 1970s.

2. I’m waiting to see start-up mgt that’s smart enough to team up fresh-faced graduates with a some seasoned veterans led by smart honest realistic exec staff. I want to join a start-up that has that team.

Adding Eric Schmidt to the mix at Google was very smart. G-founders are no doubt scary smart. But, “smarts” and “wisdom” are two different things, acquired through very different paths.

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