Geeks who defied time

When I was a kid, you dreamed of someday being a millionaire.  To become a millionaire was the epitome of success.  I watched the show “The Millionaire” along with many other average folks many times during the fifties.  Millionaires were generally older people who had worked very hard and finally over many years they had achieved this pinnacle of financial success:  one million dollars net value.   Imagine our surprise back then if you would have told any of my family, friends or neighbors that Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates and Tony Hsieh would all become “Billionaires” before they were even 30 and to top it off, without even working up much of a sweat.  Something is wrong here.  How can anyone become this rich without years of study, effort and long-term savings?  Enter the new world folks, where age and sage do not necessarily correlate with financial wealth. 
Youth defying age!  We think of age as almost synonymous with growing older and wiser and perhaps richer, but in this new era the youth of today have proved it is not about time spent on the job or the amount of sweat equity you have put into your work.  It is not even about paying your dues.  We have already seen that in many ways, wisdom does not come with age. Now we have another old myth shattered.  Wealth does not come with age either. There are plenty of older people who are just squeaking by.  Age and wealth correlate about as well as age and wisdom. 
Today, wealth is about working smarter and not harder.  Each of the billionaires I noted above were people who saw an opportunity and seized it.  Each of these billionaires was working in a new field where the old rules of commerce do not hold sway.  It does not matter how much experience you have in this new field, it matters how you apply certain principles and whether you can figure out a value proposition that will satisfy your customers and leverage the new technology that is driving the 21st century.  Computers, software, cellphones, I Pads, and the Internet are only some of the new tools that Jobs and others used to manufacture wealth and value in ways that were undreamed of just a few years before.  There were those who said these “toys” were only passing fads. There were others who said, it is just a new mode of communication.  There are those who think it is only about video games.  I even know people who will not use a computer much less Skype or Facebook.  Talk about sticking your head in the sand. 
Time marches on and those who can defy time, will find there are potential rewards. There are pitfalls as well but success comes from thinking out of the box (a cliché I confess) but it does come from embracing change, trying new things, applying ideas in a new way and moving forward not back.  Older people have no lock on these principles and indeed sometimes resist change as “we never did it this way” in my day.  Well, your day, whatever it was is over, in fact every day is a new day and your day is now yesterday.  Get out of the way, if you don’t want to do things in a new way because nothing is sacred and those who defy time will inherit the future.
Are you willing to try new things? Do you attempt to resist new ways of doing things? Are you too set on “your” way of doing things?  Do you try new tools and methods before your reject them?  Are you open to new ideas?  If not, what do you need to do to better embrace change? 

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