Anil Varanasi


Age of achievement, discovery, agency, and impact is increasing across industries and fields. Watson was 25 and Crick was 36 when they discovered the structure of DNA. More than a dozen of the signers of the American declaration of independence were 35 or younger and the average age was 44. The majority of the people at Xerox PARC at its zenith were under 30. The Macintosh team’s average age was 21.

Even accounting for life expectancy (which has now started to stagnate) and median age increasing, the age of first achievement is increasing too. The burden of knowledge is routinely cited in science, but this seems uniform everywhere:

It isn’t necessarily bad that the average age is increasing. But, structurally there seems to be a demographic change on which cohort has agency and influence. Please email if you have any suggestions or comments on the above.

Last updated 2022