I skimmed through the GEM report for 2008 and found out a few good stuff that are relevant to this blog:
The first one is the age distribution of early stage founders:
Despite the fact that the biggest segment in every type of economies is always 25-34, you can notice that a large majority of entrepeneurs are actually over 34 year old. This is reassuring ;-). This is also confirmed by a report from the Kauffman Foundation (May 2008) that presented the data in an other fashion:
Honestly I found this amazing.. What about all those stories of Undergrad student starting the best ideas out of their dorm room or their garage? Well, Yahoo was started by college student, same for DELL and for Facebook is probably the most impressive with its CEO.. But those are the flashy ones! How many companies are very successful but were started out of strong fundamentals, based on experience, skills and well thought business model and great technology? To wannabe Entrepreneurs: don’t be fooled by the few companies like Facebook or Twitter.. they are so rare that they shouldnt be taken as example for your next venture..
In the GEM report you could find the main reasons (auto reported) why Entrepreneurs stopped their business:
Around a third of the startups stop because they are not profitable (I hope those guys had at least a business model that was supposed to be making money – which is not always the case unfortunately) .. Around 20% for personal reasons (you can imagine what it could be: Arguing with your partners, spending too much time on the business and your partners wants to leave, loss of passion, etc..). What I find interesting is that only a few percent have the opportunity to Sell!..
Conclusion: It’s never too late to start a business (average is 39), and if you can make sure that at least the business is profitable (if not big) you can increase significantly your chances of success.. Seems obvious? Well.. wait a little and you’ll see that it’s not for a lot of entrepreneurs..