This isn’t the first research to show this, but perhaps the latest. Your chances at success in professional life, whether in start-ups or science, or otherwise, is proportional to the number of attempts you put in. That is, the rate is pretty much constant.
What’s not constant is your productivity. As you age, you attempt things less often, like starting new businesses, publishing papers from experiments, etc. If you try less often, given the same rate of success, it’s no wonder it seems you have more breakthroughs and big successes as you age. However, if you could only get yourself back to the same level of productivity you had once, your rates of success will be back to where it used to be!
Listen to the TEDTalk Daily podcast in the tweet below for more specifics. Also note that performance is something measurable. Success, on the other hand, is defined by us. Without us, or if we change what we deem to be success, everything associated with success can change.