Diversity is essential. Yet the main reason to have people with a large portfolio of experience and smarts on staff is that they bring so much more of both to the table. And that’s not about diversity. It’s about value.

It’s interesting to have spent most of my life as a standard-issue white guy from the First World, exceptional in no demographic respects — until I got old. Once that happened, I experienced ageist prejudice first hand, as my real and apparent value moved on diverging paths, one up and one down. (See The Final Demographic, which I wrote the day I turned 65+.)

A while back I was on The Gillmor Gang with the usual crew, which included Robert Scoble. In one of our customary arguments, Robert said I wouldn’t understand something (I think it was Facebook) because I was old. My reply: “I’ve been young a lot longer than you have.”

But I’m not complaining. Quite the contrary. I make a good living, and the work I do is far more leveraged than anything I’ve done before in my life. I’m also far more independent, because my main employer is myself.

Self-employment produces diversity too. Not sure that’s an entirely good thing. But at least I know it’s not bad.

And in a few more years I’ll have something better to say about all this than what I just said. That’s what growing up does for you. Never stop.

Written by

Author of The Intention Economy, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Fellow of CITS at UCSB, alumnus Fellow of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard.

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