It's kind of odd that I write this since I neither feel old nor think I have changed that much in the past 10 to 15 years. At the same time, I realize that I have done many things which I said I'd never do. I ended up getting married, getting a dog, planning for kids, may be buying a house soon and leaving the city for the suburbs. Heresy to my 25 year old self....now something I consider or have already done.
I also thought I'd never stay in a job more than a year or two when starting out in my career. I spent almost 6 years at SAP Ventures and 5 years at Neuhaus Partners. Along those lines I not only said once but twice in my life "I will never again work for a corporate"....once before joining SAP and once before launching Liquid Labs (not a corporate per se but attached to one!)
I have ended up doing so many things which felt completely foreign to me only a couple of years before. It's simply "growing up", evolving and discovering new things and interests. At the same time, I realize in hindsight that I completely overlooked so many areas because I couldn't care less about them 10 years ago. I further realize that there were a ton of opportunities in business had I looked into corners of the world I had no interest in.
I see this now every day when working in the Fintech world. Most of it is inhabited by older founders in the startups I see and meet. You don't run across many 20 year olds trying to shake up finance or payments and so forth. I bet it's the same in the insurance space and other "boring" areas. At the same time, the best ideas come from those who have not yet been corrupted by "this is how it's done" thinking. A fresh take on so many processes would do the above mentioned industries wonders. They need to be disrupted and they need founders who say "why not"?
The older founders in these areas tend to automate verses innovate. So much in banking, payments, etc. is still done the same way as it has for years. Now technology is being brought ever more into the picture but only to automate processes instead of completely killing them and doing them a new way. There's nothing wrong with this as automation can really pay well. At the same time, innovation is really where it's at if you want to go big. Paypal was innovation.It completely created a new way to pay online. Square was automation. It took payment from a cash register onto an iPhone or iPad....you still use a credit card for both. Think about it! If you look at the sector so little really is innovation and this is a huge opportunity.
Back to my original point: I think founders in their 20's should start looking into areas they don't really care about right now. You may be able to really find something that hasn't been done before as you'll see it with a fresh perspective. Why not take a swing at something which is stuck 50 years in the past. Change banking or payments or insurance for the better. Go break some glass and pick some fights. It's far easier while you are young and not worried about your dog, kid, house, wife, husband, whatever.