Check out this interesting article, To Save the Economy, Teach Grandma to Code, posted at the PBS News Hour website. Appearing on the Making Sen$e section of the site, the article by Vivek Wadhwa, points out that most businesses in the United States are aging and that one of the biggest and underused resources these businesses have is older workers. How, he wonders, can we use older workers more effectively and help them learn new skills? Perhaps, he suggests, we should consider teaching older workers and aging adults to code (to use a programming language).
Wadhwa, an entrepreneur and academic at schools including Stanford, Duke, and Emory, writes that to be successful, people who start new businesses need to be able to see the big picture, understand the changing world, and demonstrate how to solve bigger problems. Older individuals already possess the vision to come up with solutions that solve significant problems if they learned how to code — rather than merely inventing yet another social media platform.
It is not that difficult to teach older workers about entrepreneurship and coding and to encourage them to use their seasoned experiences to create new businesses or improve older ones. Wadhwa points out, “We must first get over the myth that older workers can’t innovate.”
Best Quotes From This Piece
- Despite the fact that venture capitalists mostly fund projects developed by people younger than 25, the average age of the founders of successful technology companies was 39.
- Twice as many founders were older than 50 as were younger than 25.
- Data show that many venture capital firms, on average produce returns that are less than the stock market’s.
- Why not create incubators for older entrepreneurs?
- The highest rate of entrepreneurial activity [is] shifting to the 55-64 age group.
This is an excellent and compelling article, and I encourage you to check it out and think a lot about how older workers, with the right training, might help the economy grow stronger. You might also enjoy reading my post Be Sure to Create Multigenerational Teams.