Am I too old to be an entrepreneur in Los Angeles?

tog_4You might think the Silicon Valley cliché of the 20 year old college dropout with a huge ego as the archetypal disruptive entrepreneur would translate well to L.A., but the data doesn’t really support that image in either place.

Mashable published a quick analysis of Founder Institute’s ‘Entrepreneur DNA’ and came to the conclusion: “The Best Entrepreneurs Are Older, Have Less Ego”.

Every year of life improves an entrepreneur’s chances up until 40, but they don’t diminish thereafter. Take heart, grey-haired founders!

Chris Taylor, Mashable

Similarly, the myth of overwhelming ego doesn’t hold up beyond the dramatized stories about the outliers of the industry. These might make entertaining films, but if you’re considering starting or joining a startup, there are more useful traits to look out for. A notable amount of self-confidence and internal motivation are both vital to surviving the emotional roller coaster, moments of doubt, and the endless stream of naysayers inherent to entrepreneurial endeavors. Once this threshold is reached, additional ego is not exactly a desirable trait. This shouldn’t even come as a surprise; great companies are built by people who can’t stand not to tackle the problem at hand, not by people out for riches and glory for themselves.

Flexibility and agreeability, neither trademarks of a narcissistic personality, are indispensable when pivoting and team-building define the foundations of a scalable startup.

Now… Los Angeles has a reputation for big egos, and here you can certainly run into more than one all-talk wantrapreneur, for sure, but that’s exactly who isn’t actually making things happen in L.A. tech. If you’ve ever compared a gathering of Hollywood industry members to a great Silicon Beach event, you’ve noticed that the real successes in our startup community aren’t the loudest or most desperate for approval, they care too much about building something great to be seeking approval constantly.

For reference, Founder Institute’s infographic follows below.


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