Born Lucky? A Study of the Birthdates and Ages of Paradigm-Shifting Entrepreneurs

16 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2014

See all articles by Julian Lange

Julian Lange

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

Ed Marram

Babson College

Ian Murphy

Babson College

Joel Marquis

Babson College

William D. Bygrave

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

Date Written: March 20, 2014

Abstract

We studied the age of entrepreneurs at the time when they started companies that made significant contributions to the birth and growth of the micro/personal computer industry; we also looked at their birthdates. The main reason for our study was to test Gladwell’s widely disseminated assertion that paradigm changers in that industry were born between 1953 and 1955 and were 25 years old or younger when they started their ventures. In contrast to Gladwell’s sample of just three companies, Apple, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems, and the seven entrepreneurs who founded them, our data set comprised 74 companies and 89 entrepreneurs. Unlike Gladwells’s seven entrepreneurs, all of whom were born between 1953 and 1955, our 89 entrepreneurs — including the Gladwell seven — were born between 1917 and 1965 and their average age when they started their ventures was 34.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, age, birthdate, outlier, personal computer, microcomputer

JEL Classification: M13

Suggested Citation

Lange, Julian and Marram, Ed and Murphy, Ian and Marquis, Joel and Bygrave, William D., Born Lucky? A Study of the Birthdates and Ages of Paradigm-Shifting Entrepreneurs (March 20, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2412096 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2412096

Julian Lange

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship ( email )

231 Forest Street
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

Ed Marram

Babson College ( email )

231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

Ian Murphy

Babson College ( email )

231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

Joel Marquis

Babson College

231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

William D. Bygrave (Contact Author)

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship ( email )

231 Forest Street
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

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