This is a follow-up to my previous post Cognitive Surplus: Intro
Retirees are one group which have a remarkable amount of cognitive surplus and represent an immense untapped asset. Many retirees while away their days watching TV and playing golf or cards. At first this may be a nice reprieve from decades of hard work but many find it unfulfilling; they are left bored and bereft of meaningful activity.
When people (especially young people) think of retirees they envision infirm elders lacking in energy or intellectual vigor. There are large numbers of retirees for whom this couldn't be further from the truth.
The baby boomers are starting to retire in droves and they don't want to spend their remaining decades idle. They have built up a tremendous amount of expertise throughout their careers and we as a society should seek to harness it. Furthermore, the boomers have spent the last decade or two of their careers online. They are not afraid of technology; we can reach them through the web and via mobile apps.
I hope to see an explosion of startups seeking to engage with these recent retirees. Leveraging their cognitive surplus will result in a tremendous creation of value and meaning.
In a future post I'll speculate on why types of products might make the most sense.