Age and Experience Matters

Age and experience matter when inventing

By Larry Robertson, CEO | Industry Perspective

Feb 28
age and experience matter

Senior citizens have the right stuff for inventing great products

Age and experience matters. Remember as little kids, how we marveled at how smart our parents and grandparents were? Well, it appears that we were right all along. When we looked back at AON Invent’s first ten (10) years in business, we made a fascinating discovery. Senior citizens have the right stuff for inventing. It’s true. Age and experience matters, so much that on average, a person in their 50s is 6-10 times more likely to invent a commercially viable product, than someone in their 20s or 30s. And education doesn’t appear to make nearly as much difference as one’s life experience.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of successful inventors find their inspiration in work-related experiences. Their inventions often focus on improving an existing product or process. We should note that work-experience isn’t limited to “paid” employment. Recreational gardeners, crafters and woodworkers have come up with amazing products to improve the “work” they do for enjoyment. And this age-advantage continues to improve as we get older, unless disrupted by a debilitating mental state. And one last fascinating observation: The group with the best overall win-loss score are members of the 70-plus crowd. Yes, that is absolutely true.

Note: These observations were made in reference to concepts for “hardline” consumer goods, excluding high-tech products and devices over a ten-year period.

About the Author

Larry is the CEO and co-founder of AON Invent. He has enjoyed a career that has spanned sales, marketing, and product innovation for companies that include subsidiaries of AMR/American Airlines, Learjet and Sam's Club. In 1995 he teamed up with Ron Loveless, the founding CEO of Sam's Club, to launch a marketing and product development firm that grossed $500 million in its first 3 years. Over the past 20+ years, Larry has personally vetted over 1,000 product concepts and marketing strategies.