"Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system ... And the next Mark Zuckerberg won't create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them." - Peter Thiel in Preface of "Zero to One."
There is a sad difference between startups launched by fellow Baby Boomers and those by members of Generation Y or Z. Baby Boomer founders tend to imitate what's been done, only with a new wrinkle.
For example, one created an ecommerce business providing replies to small businesses which had questions about social media marketing. Unfortunately, Web Marketing Today already does that quite well. Knowing the venture was doomed I turned down a retainer offer to assist with web content.
Another Baby Boomer siphoned off features of Upwork and applied them to a small niche in healthcare. Unfortunately for him several other players got there before. No, I didn't do contract work for that venture either.
On the other hand, members of Generations Y and Z are passionate about introducing what never existed before. Or, as Thiel puts it, going from zero to one. One of my clients oversaw technology to make banner ads more effective. That was when banner ads were new. After they matured, he went on to another venture.
So, how can Baby Boomers stop imitating? The way it happens, I have observed, is when they migrate totally away from earlier smackdowns. They really have to start off from a zero. As if no career had been in-place before.
That's exactly how I created a new niche business for myself in 2005. There was a four-month trial to cover. A public relations agency knew that I was an early adopter in blogging. There were no templates. That project lasted four years.
Today, I earn a part of my living researching and writing articles associated with law. Here is one on Identity Theft, recently published on MyBankTracker.com. In addition, since 2005, I have been operating a syndicated legal blog - http://lawandmore.typepad.com - which brings in royalties - and new business. It also won an award for its being among the top 25 blogs for lawyers in 2015.
Yesterday's success belongs to yesterday. And yesterday will not pay the bills.