When is the ideal age to be a founder?

Successful founders span various ages, but the optimal age is when passion-driven energy aligns with acquired wisdom.

A.T. Gimbel
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January 16, 2024

Several years ago we were discussing what is the ideal age to be a founder. There are many articles published with views, and the reality is successful founders come in all ages. The wise Charlie Paparelli gave me a great framework to think about this question. The best founders often are at the perfect blend of energy and wisdom.


Being a founder is difficult. Long hours, many obstacles, constant “failures” are all things to overcome. But having the passion about the problem you are solving can help motivate and power you through these difficult times. Without that energy it is easy to quit.


There are many things to know to be a founder. Most successful founders I have seen have superpowers in one area, but are wise enough to surround themselves with team members and advisors to complement their weak spots. They also have a natural curiosity to learn and continually evolve in an ever changing world. The wisdom to know and apply what you know, as well as the awareness to know what you don’t know and find out are critical.

Ideal timing

Typically you start your career with a lot of energy. As you learn more you find what you are passionate about. But over time that energy often wanes due to age, family obligations, multiple commitments, etc.

Typically you start your career with little wisdom. But over time through your own experiences, readings, and interactions with others you can increase wisdom at personal, functional, and industry levels.

How quickly your energy declines and how quickly your wisdom increases varies by individual, but that sweet spot in the middle when you have strong energy/passion and strong wisdom is the perfect age.

What do you think is the ideal age?

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