Seeking Scale? Think Old

These days, scale is a top-of-mind issue among leaders of tech companies. Yet many of these leaders are missing the biggest and most obvious scaling opportunity they’ll ever encounter: old people.

The worldwide population of older adults — people age 65 and up — reached 617 million in 2015 (almost twice the total population of the United States); in the U.S. alone, older adults represent an $ 8 trillion consumer market. Thanks to longer life expectancies, there will be 1 billion people age 65+ by 2030, and 1.6 billion of them by 2050.

The problem — which Joseph F. Coughlin, director of MIT’s AgeLab and the author of The Longevity Economy, lays out in the excerpt below — is that most tech companies simply don’t get this deep-pocketed, growth market. Worse, because of the relative youthfulness of tech companies, their leaders are not only missing the biggest market they’re likely to see before they become old folks themselves, they’re also overlooking the job candidates who could help them tap it as well.

If your company is seeking scale, read on.


MIT Sloan Management Review

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