One of the most embarrassing things about getting older is that the number of your age doesn’t count anymore.
The first time I got “the sting” was 10 years ago. I was sitting in a meeting with my client, his sales force, my account executives and the company’s ad agency, when they started to talk about the target audience for the new TV set they were introducing. My client stood up and announced that the new product was aimed at the 18-to-55 age bracket.
I wanted to crawl under the table. I felt like the odd-man-out. I was just 55 at the time and within a split second, a dinosaur. My body stiffened up and there was a tingly sensation running through my skin. I felt like everyone was staring at me. I was no longer a respectable member of society. Why should my staff listen to me if I was just put out to pasture? They were still in the targeted age bracket and considered citizens of substance.
I sat there for the next hour of the meeting, but didn’t hear a thing. I thought to myself; I had more money than anyone else in the room, my credit card was always available to buy, and this was the time in my life that I had the disposable income to be selfish. Yet, I was no longer part of the club. Someone else determined that old fogies were not worth their time.
The next day I called my client and told him how I felt. He didn’t know what to say other than this is what focus groups told him and of course, the marketing plan was geared towards me because I was so young at heart. Ouch, ouch, ouch! I decided that it wasn’t worth fighting with this guy, because he was just a suit hired to fill the title on his business card.
I do, however, mention this to every entrepreneur I meet in the tech business, to make them aware that this is no longer acceptable. I warn them that if they continue to treat my age group with disrespect, I was going to put a voodoo spell on them. Whether they agree or not, most of them comply.
I forgot about this issue until I went to buy a gadget that was supposedly going to teach me to play the piano. I was so excited! I always wanted to play the piano, but never had the patience nor the time to learn. iTutor Piano was going to change all that. It touts itself as the ultimate piano teaching tool for iPad, iPod and iPhone. All I had to do was connect one of them to the gadget, download the free iTutor Piano app and start playing immediately.
Wow wee, I could pretend I was Alicia Keyes or Norah Jones. If I was Norah Jones, maybe Steve Jobs would love me. Oh yeah, he is dead. That is not going to happen. Anyway, both gals are pretty spectacular so I could have a lot of fun anyway. I can carry the 25-note keyboard with me anywhere, turn on the app and play away. There is even a Piano Guy who appears on the screen demonstrating how to play while the actual keys on iTutor Piano light up, showing me where to place my hands.
I was taking out my credit card to buy iTutor from an online shopping site that once again gave me that warning that this was not a product for me, 18-55, so I stopped. Who is this scatter-brain that came up with this nonsense?