Friday, December 27, 2013

Graying of America 101 for microISVs

Demographics are important. If America is graying, and you're selling software to Americans, then you need to be aware of this demographic change.

Kenneth Gronbach talks about the myth of the Graying of America in his 2008 book "The Age Curve - How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm." He believes that the assisted-living industry has listened to the myth, and as a result has seriously overbuilt in anticipation of a need that won't arrive for another 20 years or so.

Gronbach asks where this unusually large number of old people will come from -

  • It can't be from the GI Generation (born 1905 through 1924) because most of these 75 million folks have passed away.
  • It can't be from the Silent Generation (born 1925 through 1944) because there are nine million fewer of them than there were GI Generation folks.
  • It can't be from the Baby Boomer Generation (born 1945 through 1964) because they're not in need of services for the elderly, and won't be for quite some time.

Sure, software developers need to pay attention to demographics when deciding which applications to develop and market. But there is still a long, long time to plan for a huge marketplace for software to support the elderly.

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