Cult of the child

There’s only one thing more incorrectthan the Silicon Valley delusion about the wisdom of the crowd, and that’s the wisdom of the child.

Peddled by venture capitalists, new media journalists, and, of course, by young startup entrepreneurs themselves, is the mistaken idea that it’s smarter to invest in youth than in experience.

Unfortunately, this cult of youth is preached by some very powerful grownups. “By age 35, Mozart was dead,” Mike Moritz, the 55-year-old partner at Sequoia Capital , told Garage Technology Ventures managing director Guy Kawasaki at a Silicon Valley conference last month.

“There’s no doubt about it, young people develop interesting ideas. Look across the sciences, most scientists have done their most fertile imaginative work by the time they are thirty,” Moritz -- who joined Sequoia Capital at the ripe old age of 32 -- explained to Kawasaki, extending his argument from the art of Mozart to the history of science in general.

So why are the young so wise?