[20180705] “創業得趁年輕” 是個迷思

When It Comes to Entrepreneurs, Youth Isn’t Everything

by Alex Verkhivker @nber.org

由於有 Bill Gates (19 歲創立 Microsoft)、Steve Jobs (21 歲創立 Apple)、Mark Zuckerberg (19 歲創立 Facebook) 這些著名案例,更加強化了社會上 “成功企業家主要來自年輕創業者” 的認知。但經過實證數據研究顯示,這個認知其實是個迷思。四十到五十歲才成立公司的企業家人數遠比二十到三十歲多,而這些中年企業家成功 (所成立企業經歷高成長) 的可能性也比年輕企業家要大:

在所調查的兩百七十萬個新創企業,創辦人的平均年齡是 42 歲,若只挑選前 1% 成長率的公司,創辦人的平均年齡則提升至 45 歲:

In Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship (NBER Working Paper No. 24489), Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin Jones, J. Daniel Kim, and Javier Miranda provide evidence that, on average, successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged. They analyzed administrative data from the U.S. Census Bureau on more than 2.7 million business founders whose companies subsequently hired at least one employee. The mean age of founders was 42. When looking at the highest-growth startups in the economy, the mean age at founding rose still higher — to 45.

創辦人若在該產業的工作經驗超過三年,將大幅增加所創辦公司成功的機率。

如果只考慮有得到創投資金的企業,電腦和無線通信相關的企業擁有最年輕的創辦人,但平均年齡仍然是 38.5 和 40.8 歲。

如果只考慮大部分高成長公司所在的加州 (California)、麻省 (Massachusetts)、和紐約州 (New York),成功的企業仍然大多有中年創辦人。最年輕的小群體是紐約州有創投注資的公司,創辦人平均年齡是 38.7 歲。

The study also explores geographical heterogeneity, and separately considers California, Massachusetts, and New York. These three states account for the majority of high-growth startup activity in the U.S. Even in these states, successful entrepreneurs are still middle-aged. The youngest entrepreneurs in this part of the analysis, whose mean age was 38.7, were founders of venture capital-supported companies in New York.

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