In the span of a year, I went from being a somewhat young guy in my professional world to a dinosaur! How did that happen? I spent the first 25 years of my career in the public relations industry, specializing in the representation of real estate companies. And at the age of 48 (while certainly no spring chicken) many of my fellow PR and real estate executives are around my age, if not older. I Was feeling pretty good about that!
But, lo and behold, I decided to change careers. Realizing I had a great management team running the PR firm, I decided to pursue an opportunity in a new field where I could build a brand new company from the ground floor for the second time in my career. So off I went into the technology market to build a news curation site for the real estate industry.
A funny thing happened on the way to building my new website (www.thenewsfunnel.com). All of a sudden, everyone around me was half my age and those that were my age looked at me as if they had seen a ghost. I knew that the tech field was a younger person’s industry, but what I didn’t realize is how biased the sector really was against anyone older than 22!
I get it. I am not cool (although my kids haven’t discovered that yet, thank goodness). But last time I checked, people in their 30's, 40's, 50's and 60’s are still working, consuming and doing great things in business.
What I’ve also noticed is that more and more of these seasoned business professionals are embracing technology, and adapting to new tools and services with great enthusiasm. This presents a huge opportunity for tech companies. Granted, it’s not so much about Facebook, Twitter or Instragram, or that sexting site that makes photos disappear in 7 seconds (I heard about it on CNN, of course). But these professionals are using other social media tools, buying iPads and smart phones and constantly looking for ways to be on the competitive edge in their profession.
So while we may not be cool, or represent the huge user-base numbers that many of the more popular social media sites have, I would argue that veteran business professionals comprise a highly strategic and powerful market for tech companies to invest in. They have the money to spend and are largely being ignored by a lot of the VC and start-up crowd (other than enterprise software solutions).
This dog for one has learned a few new tricks and while I don’t wear a hoodie and sneakers to work, I am now embracing change and technology like no other time in my career. And, I am not alone!