Friday, December 14, 2007

More Age Discrimination?

Leave it to Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By ( to discover these things. Apparently 24-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, made the following comment at a startup school for enterpreneurs: “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,’ he stated. ‘If you want to found a successful company, you should only hire young people with technical expertise… Young people are just smarter.” You can check out a report on this at

I'm no fan of Facebook, but I try to be sympathetic to young entrepreneurs. After all, they'll be running the world long after I'm gone, and many of them work hard (or not) to make a lot of money. Still, it seems sad that many knowledgeable, talented elders are virtually invisible. No wonder that some older folk take extraordinary steps to look and act "young," steps that usually end in big expenses, disappointment, and further unhappiness.

I admit that some elders are forced to slow down because of poor health and other factors (I guess we all eventually are), but as usual, I resent stereotypes. I hope Mr. Zuckerberg will reconsider and interview a few Boomers and Seniors and give them a chance to prove themselves. I'm sure he can find some likely candidates.

One sad thing is that at the age of 24, I probably would have agreed with Mark Zuckerberg. I assume that he'll rethink this matter in 40 or 50 years! Maybe he can readjust his thinking earlier.

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Jean Boggio said...

Well, I have tried three times to respond. Apparently the Google system has it in for me. I'll try to bypass it this time -- see if I can fool them!

Your essay reminds me of a young Asian student in my nursing class at Rutgers. He made similar comments about people in my age group. At the time, I was a senior for my BS, and my poor brain managed to achieve a 3.7 and high honors. I did start to deteriorate intellectually, however, as by the time I was 60, I only achieved a 3.6 for my MS at the same school.

When I was in my prime, I graduated from a small liberal arts college in western PA with a BA in Drama, in the mediocre middle of my class. However, 14 years after my brain deterioration had apparently begun, I achieved a 4.0 when I completed an MS Ed. when in my 30's.

Since graduating from the nursing programs at Rutgers, and working as a nurse, I have also managed to single-handedly operate my certified organic market garden, and now, at age 69, to author my first book -- a life story titled STOLEN FIELDS, A Story of Eminent Domain and the Death of the American Dream -- and to start my own independent publishing company to publish it. My goodness! What could I have accomplished if I were actually smart?

As George Bernard Shaw once said, "youth is wasted on the young."

Please visit my websites at and

It would be refreshing to have a conversation with you!


seniorwriter said...

You did get through. It sounds as though you have done very well with your writing. Probably because money is not very important to me, I never wanted to start my own publishing company. I wish you luck, but it's more work that I want to take on. Besides, I've never noticed new, small publishers' authors doing much better than those of us who publish via POD. Book publishing is a complicated business with just a few big players, I understand. That's where the prestige is, and I don't aspire to it.

That said, I still wish you luck. Somebody has to "make it" eventually, but as for us memoir writers who aren't celebrities, success is certainly rare. I just succeeded in reinventing my life, and that's enough.