But what about the most successful startups?
Why might this be?
Interestingly, however, when you study notable outliers such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the growth rates of their businesses in terms of market capitalization peaked when these founders were middle-aged. Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the company’s most profitable innovation, the iPhone, when Jobs was 52. Jeff Bezos and Amazon have moved far beyond selling books online, and Amazon’s future market cap growth rate was highest when Bezos was 45. These prominent founders may not have peaked when very young.
Extremely talented entrepreneurs may have unusual acumen — allowing them to succeed when they are very young — yet still see greater success as they age. Thus there is no fundamental tension between the existence of great young entrepreneurs and a general tendency for founders to reach their peak entrepreneurial potential later in life.