Being “Elder” in Tech World – That Is, Over 30

I am actually elder by any definition, as I anticipate my 74th birthday on Cinco de Mayo.

In the world of technology, people apparently start feeling long in the tooth when they are over 30. Worries about whether they have the suppleness of mind and appetite for risk to keep up, or even make the grade, are not unfounded. Hiring in Silicon Valley, apparently, slows down for 34 year olds and up.

Enter Modern Elder, a week long luxury retreat in El Pescadero, Mexico. The place is pricey: $5000 for the program, including lodging and meals. Attendees — most of whom are in their 30’s and 40’s — get to share their feelings about aging in a young industry.

Modern Elder was started by a hotelier turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and it is aimed at workers in the digital economy — those who feel like software is speeding up while they are slowing down, no matter how old they really are. Tech is a place where investors are wary of funding any entrepreneur born before Operation Desert Storm, where Intel is under investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for age discrimination, where giants like Google and IBM regularly face the specter of class-action lawsuits from workers north of 40.”

I’m almost tempted to sign up for a week at this place — although you can’t just go, you fill out an application and are accepted or not — just to show the assembled company what a real live elder looks like.

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