What We Can Learn From a 90 yr Old Woman in Tech, Barbara Beskind

Purpose has no age limit. Take Barbara Beskind for example. She has been creating and designing since she was eight years old. At 90, she has enjoyed three full careers, her most recent started two years ago with IDEO in Silicon Valley as a designer of products that help the aging with their unique challenges.

NPR shines the spotlight on Barbara in this article, but here are a few points that are important to consider:

Initiative – The initiative Barbara Beskind: 

  • Beskind wrote to IDEO after learning that they fostered a culture of diversity and it sounded like a place she’d like to work. She heard back within days. It turns out that interest in designing products for older adults is growing as baby boomers age.

Perspective – Provide your unique perspective:

  • In a design concept meeting talking about a new eyeglass lens, Beskind pointed out to them that old fingers are not that nimble, forcing the team to truly examine the product from the user’s perspective.

Energy & Excitement is Contagious:

  • Jason Dehler, another IDEO associate marvels at Barbara and what she brings to the table. He thinks Beskind’s energy is contagious

Appreciates what she can bring to the discussion:

  • “I enjoy the age I’m in. I think it’s one of the best chapters of my life.”

Bottom Line: our worth and value do not disappear when we hit 65. We can still be creative, productive and purposeful at any age and Barbara is the perfect example. One of the exciting benefits of technology and engineering is the fact that as we age, we bring a new perspective to the creative discussion. Rather than being a deterrent, our age becomes an added value. How will you add value?