When I first landed in the Valley thirty years ago, most entrepreneurs were seasoned people (mainly men) in their 40s or older. This was before the dot-com mania and then the delusion that everyone should be a billionaire by the age of 25. Older folk have a greater appreciation for the role chance plays in life (for good and for ill) and tend to be more resilient because they've already had to pick themselves up off the floor a few times. I've been increasingly concerned about the way the Valley has become populated by people in their early 20s who, like you, genuinely think they've failed if they haven't ridden a so-called unicorn to multi-billionaire status before they enter the second half of their twenties. It's a toxic culture, exacerbated by irresponsible journalism (alas, there's almost none of the responsible kind these days) and the ever-present social media monster within which far too many people appear to live the majority of their lives. Hopefully you have learned enough about the ephemeral nature of "success" to know that what really matters is one's personal relationships and most importantly one's relationship with oneself. We all need money to live, but it's a means, not an end.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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