5 people who who ‘Started Young’ and made it big before 30.

5 people who who ‘Started Young’ and made it big before 30.


David Karp:
He was 17, when the Manhattan teenager decided to move to Tokyo, where he spent the new few weeks fine-tuning his computer skills and toying with the idea of building robots. It was during this period that he decided to become an entrepreneur and started Tumblr, the blogging platform that is known to bring WordPress, Youtube and Twitter together, at 21 from his mom’s apartment located in New York.

Karp recalls his early days to The Guardian in a interview saying, “I was so silly – I tried to be very formal and put on a deep voice to clients over the phone so I didn’t have to meet them and give away how young I was. I lied about my age. I lied about the size of my team. I lied about my experience. I was so terribly embarrassed about it for so long. I should have just owned up.”

After being home to over a million active blogs, David recently sold his brainchild to Yahoo! for a whooping $1.1 Billion. In the year 2009 he was recognized as the Best Young Tech Entrepreneur by Business-Week and in the consecutive year was listed under ‘Top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35’. David believes and that any start-up needs the following three leadership lessons:
1. Edit your Great idea: Find your ‘Idea Editor’.
2. Assemble your dream team.
3. Share your passion and enthusiasm with your team-mates.

Evan Spiegel:
The 23 year old Stanford dropout created Snapchat’, a visual messaging mobile application, which is valued today at $860 Million. Recently, he made headlines when he declined a $3billion acquisition offer from Facebook stating that his application is completely ‘anti-Facebook’ in nature.
“There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this.” Evan told Forbes elaborating more on his reasons for the decision, “I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.”

The interesting thing about ‘Snapchat’ is that it has no revenue generation model yet, on the topic on which, Spiegel says that they’d soon be launching in-app transaction features within the app to take care of that. They have received a venture funding of around $7o Million from investors so far.

Prior to working full time for Snapchat. he has also had the opportunity to rub shoulders with Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google and Youtube co-founder Chad Hurley. Spiegel sees his mentor in Scott Cook, the CEO of Intuit.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, on why he started SnapChat, Spiegel says, “It’s fun and that’s the most important part. Somewhere along the way when we were building social media products we forgot the reason we like to communicate with our friends is because it’s fun. People started conceiving of their friends as networking tools, like ‘friend me so you can be friends with someone else’ or ‘the more people you know, the more networked you are.’ But we see real value in having a fun conversation with your friends.”

Pete Cashmore:
Mashable, which now stands as one of the most visited website for news on every possible topic out there, started out as a just a blog in 2005 by a 19 year old, Pete Cashmore, while he was still living with his parents in  Scotland.

He calls Mashable “the leading source of news, information and resources for the connected generation,” as it stands with the highest number of twitter followers in the world at 3.7 Million.

“More communication is better.” He told the Boston Radio,”The more we interact not only do we become more tolerant of new ideas and different ways of thinking, we also create more new  ideas, because what are ideas if they’re not collisions between people of different backgrounds.”

Recently there have been speculations that he is planning to sell Mashable for $200M, but there is no official statement yet.

Alex Ljung:
As an engineering student at Stockholm, Alex found himself not very pleased with the the tools and platforms that were available for remote music collaboration. He saw, how it was impossible for two people to compose something of their liking, sitting in different pasts of the world. To make this easier, Alex with Eric Wahlfross, started SoundCloud to make music sharing, editing, listening, and connecting easier.

Today, SoundCloud has over 180 Million users with channels of famous bands and artists to White House press conferences and International Space Station. To young entrepreneurs, Alex suggests to stop thinking and worrying than necessary. “Get out there and do it no matter how crazy or outlandish your idea, because you never know where it can lead.” He adds.

Evan Williams:
Evan Williams started Pyra Labs to create project management software that later became the first web application service on the internet which you now know as Blogger. After being acquired by Google in 2003, Evan founded Odeo, a podcasting company, along with Biz Stone and Obvious Corp.

Twitter, the micro-blogging slash social networking site, was actually one of the products of Obvious Corp, created in 2007, with Evan as the investor, co-founder and board member. He eventually rose to the position of Twitter’s chairman with a 12 percent stake in company’s shares.

His newest baby is ‘Medium’ which is known to be a combination of Twitter and Blogger, and has become the talk of the town, as it generated a funding of $25M recently and is slowly rising to popularity as the publishing tool with a smart UI and other features that make editing, writing, sharing, commenting way more easier than the rest of the similar blogging platforms available on the internet.


 You too can start young with Letsintern. It takes the right exposure, the right experience, to be in the right place at the right time.  Find opportunities and things that interest you, that you are good at. All the best!




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