Do Older Founders Have Traits that Make the Best Entrepreneurs?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Oct 25, 2022 12:37:49 PM

Do Older Founders Have Traits that Make the Best Entrepreneurs

In a recent Forbes article, the contributor suggests that older entrepreneurs outperform younger startup founders and lists numerous examples.

  • GoDaddy was founded by Bob Parsons at age 47.
  • E-Trade started with Bill Porter at age 54.
  • Leo Goodwin, the founder of Geico, was 50.

The article goes on to state that as individuals age, they're more likely to build a successful company. What is it that makes this statement true?

What traits do older founders possess that make them the best entrepreneurs?


Industry Experience

This trait seems obvious as older entrepreneurs will likely have decades of knowledge working for other companies. They will have valuable insight into a niche market that remains unfulfilled. The breadth and depth of their experience also matter as they will have worked several different roles in their lifetime or worked one role for many years. 

See also: Top 10 Qualities of Successful Small Business Leaders


With experience comes a level of self-confidence and ease that younger founders may not possess. Instead of someone who comes across as arrogant, inflexible, or demanding, they reveal a mature self-regard, a clear vision, and the ability to inspire and engage others to share their purpose.  And often, their motivation is built on the premise of solving a problem - the success of the venture is a bonus.

Focused on Solutions

A successful company is one that is focused on a solution. An older entrepreneur may not be motivated by money because they've been working in a career for 10, 20, or 30 years. Instead, their idea of founding a startup is likely due to something that was missing from their previous employers. From a place of financial security, they have passion and interest in pursuing an answer to a long-asked question. The answer to that question is probably an answer that their customers are looking for too.


Topics: Entrepreneurs