FUN WITH NUMBERS
In particular, I liked the table below, put together by Valleywag, showing the age at founding of some of the iconic technology companies over the past three decades. As Valleywag summarizes it:
The peak age: 26. Within a year of that age were Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Apple's Steve Wozniak, Yahoo's Jerry Yang, Skype's Janus Friis, Chad Hurley from Youtube, and Tom Anderson from Myspace."
And that's after Valleywag missed a couple of important companies, as this commenter points out:
Your forgot Oracle Corporation's Larry Ellison, surely one of techdom's greatest fortunes.
Oracle Corporation was founded in 1977 by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oats. Ellison was 33, Miner was 35, and Oates was 31.
On ther other hand, Michael Dell was 19 when he founded Dell Computer in 1984."
What I'd like to see next though, are the ages of the VCs and/or lead investors, that help guide these companies into what they ultimately became.
While most of them individually did not make fortunes comparable to their founders, they did pretty well by any measure. And if one includes their firms, along with their limited investors, the results would not by shabby.
I dare say, that most of those key figures were in their thirties, forties or older, when you consider folks like Jim Clark (Netscape), John Doerr (Kleiner Perkins), Michael Moritz (Sequoia), amongst many others.
Because as important the founder's contributions are in these ventures, also important is the guidance and hopefully some wisdom, provided by the "graybeards", as these companies become the icons we now know well.