In talking to dozens of people around Silicon Valley over the past eight months–engineers, entrepreneurs, moneymen, uncomfortably inquisitive cosmetic surgeons–I got the distinct sense that it’s better to be perceived as naïve and immature than to have voted in the 1980s. And so it has fallen to Matarasso to make older workers look like they still belong at the office. “It’s really morphed into, ‘Hey, I’m forty years old and I have to get in front of a board of fresh-faced kids. I can’t look like I have a wife and two-point-five kids and a mortgage,’ ” he told me.
When my wife and I moved to San Francisco last April, I interviewed with a few startups and I discovered with my 14 years of experience, I was very over-qualified for what they were looking for in a designer, both in experience and salary.