Fred's wrong... The age on your birth certificate means nothing

Fred posted about age today.  For a guy who's pretty cool about most things, he does have this bizarre  obsession with age--and he's worried that 47 is too close to the age where VC's start to fade.  Frankly, I think that VC's fade more because of money than because of age.  Why put in the same effort when you've got 20 million in the bank?

But Fred put this trend to bed years ago, because he made a ton of cash in the late 90's at a very early age.  By all accounts, he could have retired seven years ago--instead he's working harder than ever.  If you're not convinced, try getting on his calendar.

There are a lot of examples in my life where people don't act their age:

  • My grandmother is 90.  She learned to drive in her 50's and still takes the car out all over Staten Island to go shopping and take car of errands.  She lives on her own, reads the paper everyday, and regularly cooks up a storm.
  • My friend Darren has started something like 8 companies and is now the Head of Digital Media for Media Kitchen.  He's married, lives in Westchester and is now expecting his first child.  Did I mention he's only 26? 
  • When I started the Fordham young alumni softball team, we had a guy sign up who listed his grad school graduation year as 1980.  I figured it was a typo, but the person who works in the alumni office handling signups said the guy was so enthusiastic that she felt too bad not to let him on.  Since then, this 52 year old guy shows up and plays harder than just about all of the 20-somethings on the field, diving for balls and steamrolling around the bases.  He calls me on the phone the day of every game to excitedly check on who's coming, what the standings are, etc.
  • I originally got invited to teach about blogging at Fordham by a management professor who is nearly 70 as far as I can tell from her resume.  She had an engineering degree and worked for Lockheed as an engineer from 1960-1966.  Not only did she not fit gender stereotypes back than, but by reaching out to me to teach about social media's impact in business back in '04, she stood out from her peers on the cutting edge.

How old you are is a function of your willingness to learn new things, your ability not to let your experience close you off to new thinking, and your passion for what you do...    which pretty much makes Fred one of the youngest people I know.