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Watch out hipster nerds – Granny Beskind's behind you!

91-year-old Jony Ive wannabe helps out design firm Ideo

In a push back against the twenty-something, misogynistic Silicon Valley culture – along comes nonagenarian Barbara Beskind.

Barbs was featured on NBC's Today show – one of those Friday human interest stories that is fun but risks dragging on a bit too long and so gradually loses your interest [uh-huh -Ed].

Well, Barbara always wanted to be a designer but when she tried back in the 1940s she was told only men were allowed to do the relevant courses. So she joined the army, and later became an occupational therapist, as well as an author and painter.

Now, at the ripe age of 91, she works at legendary design firm Ideo in Palo Alto (the people that made the first Apple mouse, Palm V and many other things), popping in once a week to give them insights into what it's like to be old.

With people living longer, often with more cash, products for the elderly are a growing market. Barbara brings with her the age-old design wisdom of listening to your customers and apparently doesn't take too kindly to people creating products for frail, helpless beings.

"People who design for the elderly think they need jewelled pill boxes, or pink canes. But we need functional equipment," she told Today. Among the products she has helped develop are walking canes, developed from ski poles she had modified herself, a better system for reading papers and supports for helping get up from the couch.

Ms Beskind actually applied to an Ideo job posting when she was 89. It took her two months to write her CV and letter, which she then sent in the post.

Never one to slip into lazy clichés, Today asked her to come up with a few words of wisdom, which she then obliging provided.

"Get rid of your devices: 'I'm one of the wealthiest people in the world. I'm as wealthy as Warren Buffett, because I measure my wealth by having uninterrupted time. I have no cell phone except one to use for emergency. I have no laptop. I have no smartphone, no iPod …" [Um, I think we've reached that point now -Ed.]

So there you go. An old woman whose brains continue to work has been given a job rather than left to play bingo and slowly waste away.

In related news, Uber has not hired any old people and hasn't run down any either, well, for a couple of weeks at least. ®

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