Does Success Have an Age Prejudice

March 26, 2015 Updated: June 6, 2016

You may not like him, but we all want the life of Justin Bieber. Millions of dollars at such a young age sounds wonderful, but honestly, millions of dollars at fifty or sixty can’t hurt much either. The age of success doesn’t seem to have any prejudice, especially in today’s internet world.

The value of a college degree is dropping significantly and we’re stumbling upon people who build empires before the age of 20, while others are not getting into their groove until they trudge over the hill.

That said, age should never tell you what you can and cannot do with your life, and to prove it, we’ve compiled a list of people who have become successful in business at disgustingly young ages along with those who were late bloomers.

Kids Who Hit It Big

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is one of the youngest people in the world with as much money as he does, and not many other people seem to be catching up with his dominance as the youngest billionaire in the world.

Worth more than $20 billion, Zuckerberg built the Facebook empire as a young college student. He even quit Harvard once he realized that his company was about to take off.

Maddie Bradshaw

All Shark Tank fans remember the little girl who designed her own bottle cap magnets, because she managed to sell close to $2 million before she even walked into the tank. When she faced the sharks, Maddie was only 16 years of age, and she was able to land three investors on the show.

Michael Dunlop

Not all wunderkinds are well known, and Michael Dunlop is one of those young lads who has gone quietly through his life of making six figures per month.

Dunlop was diagnosed with dyslexia and many of his teachers told him that he had no chance of becoming successful because of this problem. So, he dropped out of school and designed, which is an extremely popular website to this day and reels in loads of money for Dunlop.

Scott and Stacey Ferreira

It sometimes pays to work alongside your siblings, considering this brother and sister combo built the highly popular Scott started the project while in college, and Stacey joined the team when she was just in high school.

They also made news when they gained a $1 million contribution to their company by simply tweeting Richard Branson.

Andrew Gower

Young British entrepreneurs seem like something that is becoming more and more popular. Andrew Gower created Jagex Game Studio as he learned to become an extremely competent developer.

The stories say that Gower began developing games at the age of 8, and he is now worth more than $200 million.

Older Folks Who Took a While to Hit It Big

Stan Lee


We all tend to think that Stan Lee has been around for the longest time, considering he has pumped out an endless amount of superhero comic books. It wasn’t until he turned 39 years old when Lee started making and pitching his comic book called “The Fantastic Four.”

After that he spent his years creating the Marvel universe with popular heroes like Spiderman.

Samuel Jackson

We all know Samuel L. Jackson from acting in some of the largest films of the past few decades, but audiences hadn’t heard of the famous actor until he was cast in the Spike Lee film “Jungle Fever.” Jackson was 43 when approached for the role.

Henry Ford

Once again, this man is a staple in a particular industry, making it seem like he had been successful since the beginning. However, it wasn’t until 45 where he put together the Model T Ford and starting revolutionizing the assembly line process.

Julia Child

The worldwide recognized celebrity chef is known for her goofy persona and delightful cuisine, but her rise to prominence hadn’t started until she launched her first cookbook at the age of 50. In fact, she worked in advertising until that time and had no professional connection to the cooking world before that.

Walt Disney

The king of cartoons was initially fired as a newspaper editor because he apparently didn’t have any good ideas. He eventually created the Mickey Mouse cartoon we all know and love and tried to pitch the idea to various different studios. An executive at MGM went as far as to say that the mouse wouldn’t work, and that a giant mouse on the screen would scare women.

There is even a story about how Walt Disney created a moderately successful cartoon called Oswald the Rabbit. He was eventually told that Universal Studios had acquired the full rights to the character, relieving him of all ownership. The company hired Disney artists to develop the character, leaving Walt Disney in the dust. In short, Walt Disney saw all sorts of adversity which eventually led to his success.

Tim and Nina Zagat

It seems like a strange path for 51 year old lawyers to take, but the married couple began publishing restaurant reviews under the Zagat name, becoming a source for credible reviews in the industry.

The couple eventually left their jobs as corporate lawyers to spend all of their time publishing books and guides to some of the best restaurants in the world. The story ends with them selling the Zagat brand to Google for somewhere between $100-$200 million.

It’s no scientific study, but this is fairly clear that it doesn’t exactly matter how old you are. In fact, I might even argue that those people who have some experience in the real world have an easier time of turning their life around and really making a name.

That said, share your thoughts in the comments section if you can think of some other people who didn’t get the memo for when they were supposed to become successful. Also explain if you are one of those younger (or older) dreamers fighting for a chance at the limelight. Tell us your story to inspire others!