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Baby boomers embrace technology as much as younger users

Fred O'Connor | May 9, 2014
Baby boomers adopt tablets, wearable devices and other technologies just as energetically as younger users, according to participants at the Booming Tech forum, which focused on technology use of that generation.

Entrepreneurship isn't a young person's game, said speakers on a panel discussing baby boomers who form startups.

"There's a myth that you have to be 21 to be an entrepreneur," said Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Forming a company isn't dependent on age. Instead, a person has to be "willing to do something different than everyone else," he said.

In fact, baby boomers' life experience may give them an advantage when it comes to starting a company. They understand risk tolerance better, said Jeanne Sullivan, co-founder of StarVest Partners.

As millennials — generally defined as the generation born from 1980 to 2000 — start aging, their reference points will change and they'll begin to develop technologies that benefit baby boomers, said Perry Hewitt, chief digital officer at Harvard University, who spoke on how those generations use technology.

"You build what you know," said Zachary Hamed, a designer at Bowery, a software development startup in New York, who was on the panel with Hewitt. But real value comes when technology finds uses beyond what it was originally designed for, he said.

 

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