Saturday, January 31, 2015

Old Cunning Canine

When most people think of start ups they think of a couple of young kids working in a garage or basement (or now Starbucks), eking out a living until they are purchased for billions of dollars, but this is more fiction than reality. As published in Time's March 14th, 2013 issue, according to research by Vivek Wadhwa, an academic and tech entrepreneur, and the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of successful start-up founders of start-ups and other high-growth industries was 40. And high-growth start-ups are almost twice as likely to be launched by people over 55 as by people 20 to 30. How can that be? 

Well firstly, most startups take founders with multiple skill sets and know-how. Yes, dreaming is important, but execution is paramount to success. As an example of this, I thought I would share a story about an old dog and if you can draw the conclusion about age.
A wealthy old lady decides to go on a safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles along for company. One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch. The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep trouble now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?" Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!", says the leopard, "That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!"


Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"
Moral of this story...

Don't mess with old farts...age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience!

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