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Episode Info: Is there a connection between an entrepreneur's age and her degree of success? [Show Summary] Are the best and most successful entrepreneurs’ twenty-somethings? As an entrepreneur, are you over the hill at 30, not to mention 40?  Let’s find out from today’s guest, a Kellogg professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, who has actually researched the correlation, or lack thereof, between age and entrepreneurial success. I recently stumbled across an article entitled “It’s a Disservice to Urge Young People to Become Entrepreneurs” written by Jeffrey Tucker, Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. The title reveals the point of the article, and Dr. Tucker bases his conclusion at least partially on research done by our guest today, Dr. Benjamin Jones, along with two other colleagues.  Intrigued by the research, because it is both so relevant to many of our listeners and contrary to popular belief, I invited Dr. Jones to join us. Dr. Benjamin Jones, professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at Northwester Kellogg, shares surprising advice for aspiring entrepreneurs [Show Notes] Dr. Jones has a fascinating background. He earned his BSE in Aerospace Engineering at Princeton, his MPhil at Oxford, and his PhD in Economics at MIT.  He served as a Special Assistant to Larry Summers when Summers was at the U.S. Treasury Department. In 2003 he became an Assistant Professor at Kellogg School of Management, and in 2014 he was appointed the Gordon and Llura Gund Family Professor in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategy at Kellogg. Along the way, there was a stint at the White House and various other appointments and publications. He has agreed to join us on AST however in connection with his recent research on Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship. Listen in! I’m going to get to your research in a sec, but I have to ask: How did you go from aerospace engineering to philosophy to economics to entrepreneurship? [3:30] Like many young people I was on a voyage of discovery of what I liked and what I was good at. I was very interested in engineering, economics and technology. In particular I was interested in sciences that speak to society directly. I get a lot of joy in the application. What made you want to research the possible connection between age and fast-growth entrepreneurship? [4:28] There is a really strong idea in our culture and media, with venture capital firms, that suggests very young people are the source of the truly transformative ideas in society. That is very anecdotal. Separately I was skeptical because I had done research looking at Nobel Prize winners and great inventors, and they have gotten older and older over the course of the 20th century. Einstein was 26, Mark Zuckerberg was so young, but they are actually exceptions. In this century, individuals in their early 40s had Nobel Prize-winning breakthroughs. I found that much of the work was coming in middle age. ...
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