A lot has been written about tech savvy Millennials, and how they’re going to radically change the future. They might, but there are two key points to remember. First, the world they grew up in wouldn’t exist in the first place, but for the Boomers, and second, MILLIONS of them are about to have a lot of free time on their hands.
What? Did you think that generation was done? Hardly!
In many ways, Gene Roddenberry invented our modern world. You might laugh, but think about it.
Bluetooth technology? Uhura wore the prototype back in the Sixties( 1) Floppy disks (now outdated)? Star Trek had them first( 2). They even had them in multiple colors. Cell phones?( 3). Yes, that too. Hand held computers? Yep. You guessed it. Star Trek did it first ( 4).
What do all of these things have in common, besides having come from the fertile imagination of Gene Roddenberry? As kids, today’s Baby Boomer generation grew up watching the show – and went on to turn Roddenberry’s dreams into reality.
One of the greatest innovators of the modern age, Steve Jobs, was himself a Baby Boomer.
The Baby Boomer generation has officially started to retire, or at least, they’ve officially reached retirement age, and are leaving their careers behind. But if you think for one moment that the generation who grew up on Star Trek, and then systematically began making that world real is just going to fade into obscurity in their golden years, you’re fooling yourself! This group is just getting started.
They’ve got the money, courtesy of long, storied careers and flush retirement accounts, the talent (literally decades of practical experience), and the imagination to define the bleeding edge of technology for decades to come yet.
Did you know that MIT has been working on a (very primitive) transporter technology, and has been since 2010? Well, they are! (5). The people working on that project? Baby Boomers, for the most part. Sure, there are grad students helping, but the driving force behind that research are the venerable Boomers.
The Baby Boomer generation remains to this day, the most creative generation in history. Sure, given enough time, the Millennials may surpass them, but the Boomers aren’t resting on their laurels. We’re in the midst of a technological renaissance that saw its start in a number of garages in Silicon Valley a few decades ago. It shows no sign of slowing down, and the same people who launched it are still leading the way.
This particular generation has always been restless. They’ve always pushed the boundaries and when confronted with an idea that seemed impossible, they’re the ones who figured out how to make the impossible, possible.
Some people, of course, will venture into the waters of Entrepreneurship out of economic necessity. If their retirement accounts aren’t quite as flush as they’d like, they’ll take what they’ve got and build on it by relentlessly pursuing “the next Big Idea.” For others, retirement is seen as a time to play.
To flex those imaginative muscles that they had to let lie dormant while their pursued their “main” careers. Now that those careers are winding down, a surprising number of them are dusting off their creative thinking caps, and striking off in search of their next adventure.
The U.S. population is aging, and so are startups. The biggest gains have been among older entrepreneurs, with 55- to 64-year-olds making up 26 percent of the enterprises. Younger people have been hampered by student debt and an inability to get resources for businesses. - Steve Matthews and A Catarina Saraiva, BloombergBusiness, "Startups Are Making a Comeback in America."
Really, this is all it takes to get started. If you’re a member of this generation, and the idea of sipping iced tea on your front porch bores you to tears, just think back to those days from your childhood when you let Roddenberry work his magic on you, and everything in the universe seemed possible. Everything IS possible, and the Boomer generation was responsible for making it so.
You might not think you have what it takes. You may have never actually started your own company before, and the thought of doing so now terrifies you.
Don't let it, because we need you, and really, you're in the perfect position. You've got far more resources and much greater security than the over-eager teen, working from his parents' garage, and you've got that, coupled with tons of practical, real world experience. That gives you some key, compelling advantages.
If there’s one thing you can bet on, it’s this: We haven’t seen or heard the last of the Baby Boomers. Not by a long shot!
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