Frank Zappa reveals that the 60s were actually… a grand time for A/B experiments in musical taste:
Zappa’s point that willful ignorance and a decent humility enable creativity rings true. The young know-it-alls “are more conservative and dangerous to the art form” than the cigar-chompers who possess an openness, curiosity, and nonchalance that comes from experience and competence. Zappa, still young in the interview, presumes their openness comes from mere ignorance, rather than a lifetime of calculated commercial instincts, but the end result is the same.
“The point Billy [Beane] raised regarding the fleeting value of experience is also important to consider. As the world becomes more and more aware of a trick or a skill, the value of that experience begins to decay. If word travels fast, the value of the skill diminishes quickly.”
So experience that relies on predicting the future as a function of the past won’t succeed. It can’t.
But I think Zappa and Gurley are actually making the same point here. People who rely on a closed belief or a received wisdom about what works and what won’t, can’t be successful in creating the future. The important characteristic, rather, regardless of age, is the desire to be a “learn-it-all” and to have the thirst for the new / the birth of the cool, and not an out-sourced reliance on the tried and true.