CF: Do you think that stigma associated with age is strongest in the tech industry?
DL: Yes. Mark Zuckerberg said that young people are smarter. Now, he said that a long time ago, he probably would be more diplomatic and discreet about it now, but I bet he still believes it. I think in tech there is a plentiful supply of people in their twenties and they are all looking for work. It may be that we are in this period where technology is erasing jobs faster than we are creating them, so we have a net loss of jobs. So that means that you have a surplus of workers. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t you just hire people in their twenties who are cheaper and younger and don’t have distractions?
I’m not even sure what to add here, but this is absolutely the truth. All things being equal, why wouldn’t you hire younger workers who don’t expect as much money, have fewer outside responsibilities, and will probably leave before you need to pay them much more, allowing you go back to the start of this process again?
Because things are not always equal. Sometimes, when you follow that practice, it’s bad for your business. (Sometimes it’s also you know, illegal.) I’m not sure many of the people who run tech company’s have figured that out yet. They don’t have a long term vision beyond the IPO or acquisition. 😉
Do you admit to being “old” when working in a tech company? Would you?