When Your Boss Is a Twenty-Something

The latest episode of New Tech City hosted at WNYC is about “young bosses” — these 22- and 24-year-old CEOs who are at the helm of companies (mostly in the tech sector), and what it’s like to work for them, and what their viewpoints are on managing people.

Brian Wong, the founder and CEO of a company called Kiip, is 22, and says, “I don’t actually view it as managing at all — I view it more as enabling, because I can’t with a straight face, tell these people that I’m more experienced than them because I’m not, nor do I know better in terms of life experience.”

So Wong defers certain decisions to people who do have the kind of knowledge and life experience that he doesn’t, which sounds like a reasonable way of doing things (it reminds me of the Sandberg-Zuckerbeg relationship at Facebook).

When I was 24, I had a boss who was one or two years older than me at a tech company, and it was not exactly the best experience to say the least. It was precisely because my 25-year-old boss believed he knew everything there was to know about how to manage people. Anyone else out there worked for a young boss/is a young boss?

Photo: Paul Inkles