I've heard it said, and thought myself, that of course I wouldn't have hired a 50-something developer when I was running my 20-something startup.
But then I just realized that if Doug Engelbart had wanted to work for Living Videotext or UserLand I would have hired him in an instant. Can you imagine. To have the guy who pioneered the technology we were commercializing around to mentor me and my developers? I would have jumped at the opportunity.
So the answer is, it depends. If it was a random employee type who hadn't done much with his or her career, I probably wouldn't have been very interested. But if it was someone who had created the foundation we were working on, that would have been different.
Guy Kawasaki: "Good people hire people better than themselves."
I wrote a follow-up to this piece on May 6.