Roy Bahat (@roybahat) and Ai-jen Poo (@aijenpoo) think investors are overlooking The Next Big Thing, serving seniors as if we’re grownups with something to do other than waiting for the hospice appointment. In Who will find the first silver unicorn, they challenge us to see, and seize, the opportunity:
“Precious few investors or entrepreneurs are looking to what might be the greatest unicorn opportunity yet: the elder boom….
The silver tsunami is a wave just waiting to be ridden by a startup smart enough to see older people as the force behind the next unicorn…
It’s difficult to imagine any sector without a technology startup opportunity for older people.
Those of the Baby Boom generation and older are the largest and fastest growing cohort of the U.S. population, and they are also the group with the most disposable income — by one estimate, 47 times the net worth of households headed by those aged 35–44.
Older people…have aspirations and desires as well as needs — and they want to be delighted, too. As physician and bestselling author Atul Gawande describes, they want to be the “authors of their own story,” just like the rest of us.
It won’t be a Silver Tsunami without some Silver Surfers.
Roy and Ai-jen describe Seniors as a Tribe, in the Seth Godin sense of Tribes: A declared or potential community with strong ties, open to a new leader.
How might seniors make a difference in the only form of activism that matters, helping voters manage politicians with simple gestures.
Not only do seniors have more experience, time and money than anybody, we’ve got more votes per capita, so it’s a delightful irony: the eldest third of voters are better equipped to bring about 21st century politics than the youngest third of voters.
It gets better. Most seniors I know are outraged by the Trumpster Fire and are even more compelled to act now than kids like Roy and Sara. Who knows when we’ll start buying our bananas one at a time?
Seniors have done a lot more resisting than everyone else, so here’s my counter-challenge to Roy: I’ll contribute the NewGov Foundation’s impressive portfolio of IP to a Senior-led Co-op for the resistance movement if he’ll advise and, maybe, invest along with the rest of us.
To frame our Senior Co-op Bloomberg Beta Challenge, I commissioned a video, There’s still music in us.
The Senior Co-op’s Core Competency
So what’s the unique service described at 3:15 that generates “fact-based social media that’s the opposite of Russian Bots?” It’s automatic compelling social media derived directly from the fact that any voter in a Republican-held Congressional district is uniquely influential on her Rep’s committee. With just 61 lines of code, the GEOvoter API derives the Congressional district of a web browser’s owner and offers stunning evidence of the constituent’s political influence, even prominence. (In truth, that modest chunk of code invokes one of two load-balanced ArcGIS servers mapping 51,281 U.S. jurisdictions).
Example 1, Owner of a web browser in Irvine, CA:
Hello CA Influencer: Did you know you’re part of just 5.3% of Americans with direct influence over the Enact Gun Control Committee? Click to tell your network:
Example 2, for Battle For The Net, a musician in Franklin, TN:
Hello TN Influencer: Did you know you’re part of just 4.1% of Americans with direct influence over the Comcast Monopoly Committee? Click to tell your network:
Day 2, TN Influencer’s free upgrade:
Example 3, Small Business borrower in Mesquite, TX:
Hello TX Influencer: Did you know you’re part of just 7.8% of Americans with direct influence over the Occupy Wall Street Committee? Click to tell your network:
Day 2, TX Influencer’s free upgrade: