As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech


That’s the title of a great short piece in the Atlantic, by the senior editor of the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal.  Although we live that reality every day at Grommet, it was nice to see a guy thoughtfully decoding this topic.  His piece cites research from Intel on the dominant influence of women on the adoption of new technologies, with good data and examples.  Madrigal also illustrates instances where companies are behind the times in responding to this reality. (Even Apple!)

Given my own demographic, I especially liked the concluding paragraph, which is a quote from the Intel researcher, Genevieve Bell:

So it turns out if you want to find out what the future looks like, you should be asking women. And just before you think that means you should be asking 18-year-old women, it actually turns out the majority of technology users are women in their 40s, 50s and 60s. So if you wanted to know what the future looks like, those turn out to be the heaviest users of the most successful and most popular technologies on the planet as we speak.

2 Responses to “Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech”

  1. Annaliese

    Glad you brought attention to this! After reading Alexis Madrigal’s article it seems that not only do we need more women involved in technology and startups, but we need to be aware of the various relationships that affect purchase power and technology usage. Moms rule by influencing tech behavior in the household!

    • julespieri

      I think that is the key point. It might be surprising that women are the heaviest users of new technologies, but it should be less surprising that we (especially moms) control the economic future of any new technologies, since women/mom also control 80% of all consumer purchases.

      You could get a very different age and gender influence picture from the makeup of startup teams, VC firms, and advertising imagery. Women are either invisible or, even worse, presented as stupid and needing help. Think about the common phrase “Even my MOM has an (iPhone, Facebook account etc.)” That should be turned around to say, “Even my SON/BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND has a….”, since women lead the charge.


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