blog » May 2, 2017 by Donna John

How to Prosper in an Age of Innovation With Matthew C. Le Merle! by Donna John

6 years ago
How to Prosper in an Age of Innovation With Matthew C. Le Merle!

It's hard to believe that the Internet didn’t even exist 30 years ago, and now billions of people use the web every day! There are some remarkable new technologies that have been invented that will dramatically change the way humans exist on our planet. This emerging playing field is constantly evolving and is not well understood by most. Not everyone who was successful in the past will be able to benefit from this momentous shift. So what will it take to succeed in this new era? During this week's #30Seconds Twitter chat with Silicon Valley insider Matthew C. Le Merle, we found out!

Q: Why did you decide to write “Build Your Fortune in the Fifth Era?”

Innovation, California and the U.S. have been very good to us and our family. We have been very lucky and honored to work with so many talented and creative innovators. We have learned so much over the last 30 years. Now we want to share these insights with everyone in the world and hope they can benefit, too.

Q: What do you mean by the Fifth Era?

From the age of hunter/gatherer to the Industrial Age, change has been marked by disruptive innovations. The digital revolution and biotechnology innovation is coming at an increasingly faster rate. These disruptive innovations lead us to believe we are entering a new era.

In this new era, the Fifth Era, how we make friends, learn and work is changing. We will reevaluate what we value and what makes us happy. Information, communication and collaboration will be comprehensive and instantaneous. We cover this in detail in our book and show the opportunities available to all of us.

Q: Many of us here tonight have generation C kids or younger. Please describe Generation C.

Generation C are often called “the YouTube generation.” In a recent piece, “Generation C stands for Connection, Community, Creation and Curation." They’re engaged and they want their voices to be heard. They’re not a generation in the traditional sense – about 65 percent of Gen C are under 35. Regardless of how old they are, they’re the sort of mavens who shape opinion and lead thought.

Put simply, Gen C isn’t a quirk of when or where you were born; it’s a way of life. Generation C are digital natives – true natives of the Fifth Era. They were born in the era of the Internet and are the most connected generation of our time. Probably because of their connectivity to the world, this generation tends to be more creative and content driven. They’re also on-demand and “mashable.” Meaning they blend their work, personal and online life stories in ways through gadgets, tech plus social media. says Gen C is unique because they are highly engaged making specific decisions on how to live their life. They are motivated by honesty and integrity. They are empowered by technology, living in the moment, always on.  And they’re proud to give back more than they take on.

Q. Are there lots of female angel investors and how would a woman get involved if she wanted to?

Not as many as there should be given that women control more than 50 percent of the U.S. wealth. We need more women angels. Most angel groups are looking for more women to join them. And the unique viewpoints are very valuable.

Q. Why aren't there more female entrepreneurs and how would a woman founder get backed?

This is a big question. Women start more small businesses, but less tech businesses. We want more female tech founders. Parents need to make sure girls get the same messages as boys, especially on STEM. Bringing up tomorrow's entrepreneurs today.

Q. Does it matter where you live? Can you get involved even if you are not in Silicon Valley?

There is no monopoly on innovation. We see start-ups everywhere. My angel group – Keiretsu Forum – is all over all America with 20 locations and more coming. And we have a total of 51 locations if you include Asia and Europe. 

Q: Do you have any advice for Generation C?

Gen C have a unique opportunity to “save the world” through their engagement, connectivity and activism. They are the first generation that can inform, educate and activate around a cause, product or idea within hours. That is powerful and should be explored. Gen C could easily fall prey to distractibility, if sharp focus is not given to a particular concept. Like the devices and platforms they use, they switch gears quickly, so consistency and tenacity should be valued by this group. I think there will come a time with authenticity and accuracy will need attention. Because information is served up so quickly, it can often be difficult to discern what might be categorized as “fake news.” This could be quite disconcerting if tools for clarification/fact checking are not employed.

Q: What was it like to write a book with your spouse?

For 30 years Alison and I have long talked about co-authoring a piece. So it didn’t happen overnight. But it did happen in about two months – 30 years of experience compressed in two months. Needless to say the timing was right and when it came together it just flowed. There were a few “mash-ups” of ideas, and differences in opinion. But that’s what has made our marriage, our business lives and our adventures in life interesting. I feel the book is an exquisite output of collaboration.

Q: What is your secret to creating wealth and simultaneously raising five amazing children?

We have two kids out of college, two in college and one at home. We make family a priority. We continue to take all the kids on vacations. Great time for bonding. We schedule and divide up as needed to attend all the kids events. We also take care of ourselves to have energy for family and work. For example, Alison does yoga, I work in my rose garden and we take retreats together. We share with our kids being students of life, loving adventures and exploring.

Q: How can we get the book? and it is available for a limited time on Kindle at .99. Also, check out to join the conversation and our community network. This will help you follow along in the conversation with fellow investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Q: Now that you have an international best-selling book, do you have plans to write another book?

We are in the midst of completing our second book, “Corporate Innovation in the Fifth Era.” This will be a must-read for executives, managers and companies in general to survive this era of disruption. Corporate life will never be the same, and this book will touch on this as well as explore other ways to innovate beyond the Industrial Era thinking. We are already mulling book three. We are thinking about touching on government, leadership and innovation in public infrastructures. Our focus is on innovation. I imagine we'll keep writing about segments of life where innovation is key, which is all segments of life.

Be sure to follow  @mlemerle and @Fifth_Era, visit and, and like him on Facebook!

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Nicole DeAvilla
Alison and Matthew have an interesting perspective gleaned from their successful ventures in Silicon Valley about the future of building wealth. They are wonderful parents too! I am really looking forward to this chat with Matthew!
Elisa Schmitz
How exciting! This topic is right up my alley, and I can't wait to learn from Matthew and Alison. Thank you for coordinating, Nicole DeAvilla !!
Nicole DeAvilla
Matthew and Alison are wonderful business people, parents and friends. We can all learn from them.

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