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50+ Inspiring Tech Savvy Leaders Over 50

June 5, 2014

You know what? I’m tired of hearing people say “I’m over 50, too old to understand this stuff” or similar balderdash. I’m over 50 and I get it, so can you! Over the last 20 odd years I’ve worked with and learned from some pretty amazing people who are just as old or older and way savvier than I am. It’s about the love of learning–among other things–that keeps us young.

I wanted to share with you some super-smart people who are over 50 and do get tech. They are marketers, authors, trainers, CEOs, and some are just plain geeks. Every single one of them can teach you amazing things if you’re willing to listen. Follow them on Twitter, read their blogs. Learn from them and never, NEVER say you’re too old to learn.

Oh, and let me know who I’m missing, I know there are a lot of great people to add to this list. Add away in the comments and click the links below to tweet these people thanks for being an inspiration.

Beth Kanter
Let’s talk about networked approaches & social media for training and capacity building for the nonprofit sector that leverage learning and impact.

KD Paine
I’ve been called The Queen Of Measurement, but I prefer Seshat, the Goddess

Aliza Sherman
Human. Wife. Mother. Web Pioneer. Author. Founder Cybergrrl/Webgrrls. I tweet: Work Life Tech Zen.Learning to #Unplug. Life is Short. Do What You LOVE.

Phil Fernandez
CEO, president & co-founder of Marketo, the leading provider of cloud-based marketing software, successful serial entrepreneur & author of Revenue Disruption.

Mark Schaefer
Chieftain of the blog {grow} and social media bouncer. Consultant, educator, podcaster, author of Return On Influence, Born to Blog, and The Tao of Twitter.

Meg Whitman
Margaret C. Whitman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett- Packard.

Mark Horvath
Just a hardly normal guy trying to navigate through an abnormal world by helping others. Media Consultant

Shel Holtz
Communications. Technology. Jam music. Family. Life is good.

Danny Sullivan
Founding Editor, @MarketingLand &@SEngineLand, covering Google, Facebook, Twitter, SEO, SEM & all things digital marketing, search marketing and search.

Kare Anderson
Emmy-winner, Forbes+HuffPo columnist,speaker/TEDx speaker

Guy Kawasaki
Advises Motorola. Author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. Former chief evangelist of Apple.

Liz Strauss
Founder of SOBCon, social business strategist. It’s only fun when it’s brilliant strategy, high return, AND connects customers in a meaningful way.

Jeff Bullas
Social Media Marketing Blogger,Strategist & Speaker,Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer 2013,Huffington Post Top 100 Business Twitter Accounts

Marsha Collier
Author 48 books: Social Media Commerce, eBay, Online Customer Service. Forbes Top 10 Influencer, GigaOM Pro Analyst, Founder #CustServ chat#techradio host

Steve Rubel
Chief Content Strategist for Edelman (@EdelmanPR), AdAge columnist, LinkedIn Influencer and avid sports fan.

John Hagel
Work and play on the edge – views breathtaking, experiences deep and satisfying, learning limitless

Havi Goffan
Tweeting about Latinos, Hispanic Marketing, new stuff, life and everything + always with a big Latina heart!

Ed Bennett
Hospital / Healthcare web marketing, governance and technology graybeard.

Shelly Kramer
Marketing/brand strategist, idea generator, digital content magician, scribbler, information junkie. Luv MilkDuds+Beer. Member of Oversharers Anonymous.

Wendy Goldman Scherer
Lover of data. Finding insights in social media. I *might* also be a compulsive baker. All my worlds collide at http://wendyscherer.com

Kimberly Kradel
artist. painter. photographer. writer. Lover of landscape, books, sci-fi, tech, & food. This is the me you’d meet traveling, or in a bar. Also @artistatlarge

Allen Mireles
Integrated marketing & social media strategist who never ever gets enough time in the garden. Proud Rotarian. Endlessly curious. Joyful.

Shel Israel
Founder #CEO @Broadsuite |@Huffpost & @Forbes Contributor | Co-Founder@12most | MBA | Biz Prof |Author @millennialCEO | Husband to 1 Father of 2.#Socialbiz

Steve Farnsworth
A Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer, blogger, B2B content marketing and inbound marketing, and social media strategist working with tech companies and B2B.

Jon Ferrara
Pioneer & creator of #CRM solutions, CEO – Nimble, Founder of GoldMine. Interests; #SocialSelling,  Social Business, Customer Lifecycle, Acquisition & Retention.

Brian Kardon
CMO @Lattice_Engines. Sharing ideas about big data, demand gen, marketing, SaaS and the tenor saxophone. People say I ask a lot of questions.

Ted Rubin
‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ 🙂

Leo Laporte
Podcaster, broadcaster and tech pundit. The Tech Guy on the Premiere Radio Networks. Chief TWiT at live.twit.tv

Jeff Jarvis
@BuzzMachine blogger and j-school prof; author of Public Parts, What Would Google Do?

Francine Hardaway
Content marketer, writer, editor, globe-trotter. co-founder stealthmode partners. marketing partner for entrepreneurs.

Lon Safko
For tips, tricks and methods so you and your #business can have an effective
& thriving #socialmedia strategy & execution.

Joel Comm
Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Consultant, 84 Klout score, Size 10 shoe

Sarah Browne
Early stage advisor/strategist. Addicted to all things new. Except very old whiskey.

Robin Fray Carey
CEO Social Media Today LLC. Also follow our team and me on@socialmedia2day. Opinions are all over the map. #socialshakeup

Seth Godin
Founder of http://Squidoo.com , author, blogger. This is a retweet of my blog.

John Jantsch
Small business marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Referral Engine and The Commitment Engine.

Mark Ragan
CEO of Ragan Communications. Publisher of @PRDaily, @RaganComms, @RaganHealth, HR Communication.

Don Tapscott
Author (most recent book Macrowikinomics), consulting company CEO, Hammond B3 player.U of Toronto, Rotman School Professor, Fellow Martin Prosperity Institute.

Vivek Wadwha
Appointments at Duke, Stanford, Emory, and Singularity University. Former entrepreneur. Write for Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn Influencers,

CJ Brasiel
Silicon Valley Real Estate Concierge, Broker Associate, Rider of Bicycles. Real Estate Questions? Talk to me. 408-406-6035 DRE #001509579 Opinions my own.

Randy Bowden
a marketing and branding guy | native floridian – georgia transplant ☞ southern enthusiast | bourbon or single malt |

Lucie Newcomb
Trainer/Student/Strategist/Globetrotter/Marketer/Leader.Global Business From the Inside Out ™ #GlobalBusinessWatch #Sheadership mentoring

Andreas Ramos
Author of 9 Books on #SEO &#DigitalMarketing (incl. an Amazon Best Seller). Professor at Silicon Valley Business School SVBS. Manager of Global SEO at #Cisco.

Cathryn Hrudicka
Creative Sage™ lives a passionate personal mission to cause the spontaneous combustion of #creativity,#innovation, and #compassionate#intelligence everywhere.

Craig McBreen
Owner of . I help clients craft an online presence that builds authority, increases brand awareness, and is built for long-term success.

Several of the people on this original list–although awesome and fabulous–are not over 50. But I still love and admire ’em and as Frank Strong said “continuous learning just might be the fountain of youth.” so I’m adding a list of some of my fav over 40/under 50 folks below. So there. Lemonade.

Ann Handley
Head of Content here at ‘Profs. I’m waging a war on mediocrity in content.

Geoff Livingston
Founder of @Tenacity5Media. Author. Photographer Goober.

Kristi Colvin
User experience consultant & full-time mischief maker. Social provocateur, digital gladiatrix and work in progress. Principal @freshid #MLS #SKC

Mack Collier
Helping companies Think Like a Rock Star & with a Southern accent. Founder of #Blogchat

Robert Scoble
@Rackspace’s Startup Liaison Officer, who grew up in Silicon Valley, brings you technology news, videos, and opinions.

Mike Allton
Social Media and Internet Marketing consultant for small to medium businesses. Specialties include #SocialMedia, #Blogging, #SEO and #minestrone soup.

Scott Stratton
Author, Speaker and kind of a big deal on a fairly irrelevant soc media site which inflates my self-importance. Lesser-half of @UnAlison.

Gini Dietrich
CEO Arment Dietrich. Author @spinsucks, blog and book. Co-author Marketing in the Round. Speaker. Avid cyclist. A foodie. Loves shoes & wine.

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  1. I think it’s funny how some people think that reaching 50 or 50+ is a negative thing, I think this is where the action begins, this is when you have most of your experience and common sense to do something very extraordinary. I love people of all ages but there is something about 50+ it’s called wisdom and wisdom is very sexy and appealing. Contrary to some studies that suggest that there is a time where the brain is more apt to learn I think there always a time to learn regardless of your age.
    Glad to see familiar faces such as Ted Rubin, Mark Schafer, Joel Comm and Vivek Wadwha
    Thank you Janet for bringing this subject to surface.

  2. Janet: Thanks for addressing the implicit age-ism that is rampant in tech these days. The people on this list are folks that I learn and get inspiration from every time I meet them or read their work. I’m honored to be included in this list…except that I’m not 50 yet!

  3. Janet, I L-O-V-E this post! Who says you have to be “Under 30” to be on a list celebrating age, be in of tech leaders, entrepreneurs, or… you name it? I’m just 3 years away from consideration for this list. I’ll starve to earn a spot in the meanwhile!

    I’ve got some good friends on here, as well as several most-admired leaders I’ve yet to meet. In no case have I thought, “You know, ___ is pretty tech savvy for her age.” Huh? Age this!

    Here’s one I hope to see on next year’s list: Mark Babbitt, aka @YouTernMark, my co-author on “A World Gone Social” and my partner at Switch and Shift. He’s pretty darn with it for a grandpa 😉

  4. What a great list to be included in. Thank you for that, Janet and for reminding all of us what we can all, always be learning new stuff! xo #beingover50rocks!

  5. So many friends and people I admire on this list. (Though I may be older than some?) Thank you for including me!

  6. Janet, this is so great. I get really tired of the “40 under 40” or the like. With age comes wisdom – and age doesn’t mean you stop innovating and learning. Loved seeing a few SF WoW names here too!

  7. I love this. I agree with Gini. So inspiring, these role models are. At the risk of sounding biased, I would add just one more name: @bobWP, WordPress and blogging trainer extraordinaire.

  8. LOL!! Because they’re awesome. Hilarious! This is totally a fun list and I’m going to share it when business leaders, who are older than 50, say, “I can’t do this because I’m a digital immigrant.” Yeah, well…here you go.

  9. @gerardcorbett:disqus @RandyBowden:disqus @ted_rubin:disqus Gotta love Open Data 😉 Fantastic list @jfouts:disqus, wonderful to see so many impressive peers in my demographic (not my tech savvy) but nice to see that age is not a hindrance to the pursuit of excellence.

  10. Thanks for including me on such a fine list and reminding me that I am “over 50” Janet, way way over.

  11. Janet, I love that you put this list together. In the tech world, it’s not just that so many people over 50 DO “get it,” but also that there is a perception that they cannot possibly read/understand/innovate/be savvy about tech. Thanks for standing out and sharing the great folks with us all!

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