Tell us about your experiences with Marketplace. Enter To Win

What is the best age for innovation?

Jeremy Hobson Apr 8, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

What is the best age for innovation?

Jeremy Hobson Apr 8, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

What is the best age for innovation? Are you more innovative in your 20s or your 50s?

Tom Agan, managing partner at innovation and brand consultancy Rivia, has come up with answer that might surprise you.

“The real innovators average about age 40,” Agan says, adding that the popularized image of a young college age innovator — think Mark Zuckerberg — is a “total fallacy.”

Agan cites Steve Jobs, who introduced the iPod and iPhone in just the last decade of his career, after years of personal computing experience.

The upshot? Companies looking to lower costs by hiring a younger workforce may be losing out on innovation.

“The number one factor for innovation is learning from past experiences, learning from past successes and failures” Agan says. “Now that we’ve moved into a knowlege-base world, experience becomes much more important.”

To hear more about the relationship between age and innovation, click on the audio player above.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.