Are young people starting fewer companies?


(Andrew Chen) #1

I recently saw this article on WSJ about the decline of young entrepreneurs:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/endangered-species-young-u-s-entrepreneurs-1420246116
(You can search for the title on Google to get around the paywall)

Similarly, there’s been an interesting discussion here on millennials having trouble getting jobs:

I was surprised by the first article though, I would have thought that entrepreneurship was going up among young people. But combined with the second, it makes sense. The two seem connected. Maybe a lack of marketable skills and experience, overall.

What’s your take? Do you see millennials struggling in the workplace? At least here in the Bay Area, I’m not seeing it, but of course we are in our own little bubble here :smile:


(Arthur Guerrero) #2

Wow…I honestly thought young entrepreneurs were on the rise due the glorification of the successful ones by the media.


(Cae Silva) #4

Bringing an outside perspective: You’re definitely right when you say that in the Bay Area you cannot sense much of this reality. Actually, if in America numbers are showing this trend, I wonder how it would look worldwide.

My guess is that desire (and perhaps frustration) are reaching higher levels but the path to entrepreneurs worldwide is much more challenging then it is in the US (actually, accordingly to OECD, NZ, AUS, CAD, US, UK are easiest countries to be an entrepreneur).

We were raised in the middle of a revolution (and an educational system that did not keep up with it), we joined the labor market in the middle of an economic crisis and (as Arthur mentioned) are daily contrasted with the greatness of some exceptional entrepreneur and it’s story.

Even though this makes sense, I wasn’t aware that the situation is that extreme :open_mouth:


(Sami Rageb) #5

Taking various data points (both first-hand and second-hand) from colleagues & associates around the country, there are several factors that could be contributing to this.

  1. MANY, but not all, millennials feel entitled. They have $600 iPhones and grew up in an era where technology has become disposable and people get ‘participation trophies’. This has been explored heavily online and is common knowledge among many people (including myself). I’ll state this is unfortunate as I also know several millennials that are brilliant and hard working. Unfortunately they seem to be the minority. http://blog.launch.co/blog/do-we-deserve-or-even-want-more-jobs.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/millennials-entitlement/
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/12/08/broke_millennials_the_decline_of_young_adult_incomes_since_the_recession.html

  2. Entrepreneurship requires perseverance and sacrifice that millennials didn’t really experience growing up, AND they don’t necessarily share in the previously held anti-corporate mentality that GenX’ers shared. How many millennials even know how to ask for directions, or look up a book in the library under card catalog? These dated tasks we experienced had the unknown benefit ‘character building’ that added grit into older generation DNA.
    http://time.com/3154186/millennials-selfish-entitled-helicopter-parenting/
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/11/04/idle-millennials-are-victims-their-parents-success/2rWDFWXQHo290FqUpz0HOO/story.html

  3. Millennials grew up as everything became ‘social’ and so they are tuned in to relationships & digital profiles more than capitalism/entrepreneurship.
    http://marketingland.com/survey-best-way-reach-millennials-social-media-91241
    http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/16/millennials-trust-no-one-but-twitter/

  4. +1 with your 2nd article as well. The fact that the White House Councle of Economic Advisers made a special report around Millenials shows that they did get a bit of a raw deal. (I graduated 8 months after 9/11, however and the job market was horrid then too, so go figure)
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/americas_millenials_in_the_recovery_jf_7.24.14.pdf

All that being said, here is one article I also agree with (as I am not biased against millennials): http://www.forbes.com/sites/gyro/2013/11/04/5-millennial-stereotypes-that-arent-true-mostly/

Just my $.02.


(Andrew Chen) #6

great points.
I wish there were a way to see the data just for tech startups as well. I would assume there were many many more tech startups being created together, even the nominal ones such as a YouTube production company. There’s just so much more access to technology, compared to myself and many others growing up where computers were for truly hardcore nerds. Now building an app is cool.
On the flipside though, I often wonder if the kind of tech people are exposed to inherently babies them compared to the “good old days.” Back when you wanted to play DOOM, you had to use AT-commands to dial into a BBS, install the EXE, then run it, then realize your video card was out of date, go buy one and swap it out, add a modem for multiplayer, etc. These days, kids can just download an app from an app store and it just works. Great from a consumer point of view but I wonder if the kids these days are learning less about technology and how it actually works.


(Imroze) #7

@samirageb & @andrewchen; Great points!

I started realising that “If you are trying to come up with something cool, it’s not gonna be useful” well some people might disagree this is purely my school of thought.