Silicon Valley's Dark Secret: Rampant Ageism

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Old folks are shunted to the sidelines in Silicon Valley, according to a report.

    The race -- and the cash and success -- in Silicon Valley goes not to the swift, but to the young.

    In Silicon Valley an extra-premium is paid to youth, so much so that techies in their 20s are seeking treatments for balding (before their hair patterns are final). Cosmetic surgeons in San Francisco in response are doing banner business, according to The New Republic.

    "The Brutal Ageism of Tech" is so brutal that an engineer in his 40s is the "token graybeard" to a CEO who is invariably in his early 30s -- at most, the lengthy magazine piece discusses.

    The consequences for the aggressive ageism in the innovation economy may be severe: "We now have a large and growing class of highly trained, objectively talented, surpassing ambitious workers who are shunted to the margins, doomed to haunt corporate parking lots and medical waiting rooms, for reasons no one can rationally explain," the magazine reports.

    Very little of the ageism is rational, especially in the venture capital-addicted Valley: unknown ideas or talents that "could" be the next "super-unicorn" -- an idea that could net a thousand-fold return on an investment -- are much more highly valued than known quantities that could nearly make your investment increase by a factor of 10.