I have been kicking around the 'age business' for the last ten years and have seen lots of changes.
The biggest and most encouraging is the influx of younger people who are attracted by the business potential they perceive coming from population ageing.
When I started out you rarely saw a young face at any of the conferences or working in the age-silo companies. Yes, there were lots working for charities and not for profits but few working for companies that believed there was a sound business based upon older people.
This blog posting on the Virgin site illustrates how things have changed and how the young perceive the older market.
Lari Numminen is a young entrepreneur that I got to know in London, now working in Dublin. He said: “I would say the majority of start-ups, whether they are run by 20 or 30 year olds, are really thinking about themselves.” To be honest that probably applies to start-ups by 50 or 60 year olds.
Instead of looking at issues among his own age group, the 31-year-old found inspiration in the challenges of his parents’ generation. It was when his mother and father retired and bought brand new smartphones that the idea first occurred to him.
Lari believes there are big opportunities for startups who apply innovative thinking to the older demographic. “We’re going through a phase where the baby boomer generation is retiring. Economically it’s the biggest opportunity you can imagine.
Another group of young entrepreneurs can be found via aging2.com.
Really exciting times and a timely reminder that us oldies cannot get away with churning out the same old messages and advice. Dick Stroud