Author Archive for KeicherRB1

Beautiful Business: Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan is a YouTuber and entrepreneur who turned her passion for beauty into a business. Every week, she posts new content about makeup, hair, and beauty. She started off, much like this website, with blogging about things in which she cared about. As time went on, she amassed more and more followers.

She became famous when she put out a makeup tutorial to show people how to look like Lady Gaga. Michelle became an instant hit. The time leading up to that moment is proof that if you want something, you have to start working towards it. Even though it seems like she became an internet personality overnight, it was really lots of work behind the scenes to make it happen.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, it can be really easy from the outside to point at someone and say “well, they were just lucky.” The thing is, if you want to be a great entrepreneur, you have to accept that it is never just luck. Serendipity, sure. Luck? No. Luck should never be an excuse for not working harder yourself. Michelle combined her talent for makeup and her networking skills to get her work seen. Even if you have the best product, if it isn’t seen, nobody is going to care. Be seen.

The Book of Faces

Have you ever seen this guy?

If you couldn’t guess from the background, he invented Facebook. Some take the internet for granted. When I think about all of the companies that are around today, one thing is noticeably strange to me- there was a time when they did not exist. The statement is obvious as it should be, but there was a time when there was no Facebook. It is odd to me because I grew up with it (whether or not my Mom allowed me to have a Facebook account is an entirely different matter).

How did it come to be? The way all good things come to be- an entrepreneur took initiative. Mark Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard when he and his friends came up with an idea for a website in which people could compare other people to each other. In some respects, it is like some dating apps in which you can view someone’s profile picture and determine if they are attractive or not. At first, this website was limited to those who went to Harvard, but eventually, it spread out to just about anyone above the age of 13.

Mark realized that people like connecting with other people. At the time, there were other “social” sites in which people could view other people’s virtual profile (such as myspace), but Facebook was simply better at delivering what people want over its competitors. In order to be a good entrepreneur, you have to see opportunities and take action. While the story of Facebook’s creation is relatively well known, what is less known, but has become more known recently, is that others who were at Harvard with Mark claim that he stole their idea of Facebook. Whether or not this is the case (which it very well could be) at least he did not sit on those ideas- he went and did something. This is not advocating stealing intellectual property in the pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors, but I think that far too often “would be” entrepreneurs spend too much time talking about what they are going to do versus what they are actually doing. Mark took action- and that’s what makes him a great entrepreneur.

Té Amo – The Drink That Loves You Back

Grove City College prides itself on faith, freedom, and its entrepreneurship department (amongst other things). One of the fruits of the department is the amazing Mark Sotomayor. I knew Mark when he still went here. He transferred out a couple of months ago to focus on a business idea he had–a company that sells tea and uses its profits to help plant trees. In fact, they plant one free tree for every bottle sold. That’s good for the planet and for your tastebuds!

The business is called Té Amo. I love the name because “te amo” is Spanish for, “I love you,” and thus expresses the social good aspect of the business. Also, it’s a pun because “té” with the accent means tea in Spanish. The recipe was developed by his grandmother and was brought over to the United States when his parents moved here. Now he wants to share this delicious nectar with the world.

I asked Mark what the best and worst thing about being an entrepreneur was and replied:

“Being an entrepreneur is like a heartbeat, there are ups and there are downs but you must keep pumping. If you stop, you (your business) die.”

I think that statement is a great overview of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. There is such a positive social benefit involved, as well as a pleasant drinking experience, why would you not want to get involved? If you are interested in checking out his progress or buying his product, check out the link below!


Need a Myspace Layout?

Imagine you are just starting out on Myspace (I understand you are a little behind on the times). Obviously one of the first things you will need is a flashy new layout to show people how cool you are. There’s  just one small problem- computers are hard. Thankfully, there is a young millennial entrepreneur who has the solution! Her name is Ashley Qualls.

Ashley Qualls started her website back in 2004. While in school, she learned HTML and applied what she learned to her website. Better yet, she enjoys teaching others how to master HTML through her tutorials. Her website quickly became a big hit as her friends began using her website to spruce up their Myspace pages. Ashley’s website was so successful that by the time she was 17, she had already become a millionaire.

How does one become a millionaire by making Myspace templates? There are a number of factors that played a role- all of them were critical to Ashley’s success. One of the factors was timing. The internet is still a relatively new development, but in 2004 there were not that many options for customizing Myspace pages. Another factor was her content. She was able to successfully deliver value to her audience, which in turn drove site traffic. Advertisers saw how many people were visiting her site, so they paid good money to place their ads where the most people could see them. This way, Ashley was able to make money, without ever charging users a fee for her templates. I’ve left her website name for last because, as the times change, so do websites.

Her websites is called but it’s glory days of Myspace layouts is long gone. She now uses the website as “a hangout for alternative millennials”. If you are feeling sentimental, here is a taste of the old days:

Moon Walk

No, not actually walking on the moon. Entrepreneur Sean Whalen developed a product that allows people to exercise at less than their actual body weight. He started the project when he was 23 years old at Stanford (with a little help from his dad working at NASA), but he is now said to be worth an estimated 10 million dollars. His product idea is called AlterG. This is the treadmill of the future if there ever was one. As supposed to a normal treadmill, the AlterG takes the normal pressure of earth’s gravity (the feeling of it anyway) off your feet. It does this by changing the air pressure around your feet. It is super comfortable and highly precise.

It is truly a technological accomplishment. One of the great benefits of the AlterG is its effectiveness for those in rehab.  It enables the user to exert as much energy as they want, while greatly reducing the amount of pain running would normally cause on their body. Those recovering from an injury can effectively strengthen their legs which would otherwise be too painful to move. Overweight and elderly people can benefit too because it helps them incrementally build muscle back up.

If you are really really interested in seeing the technology in action I’ve included a clip below!

The Mind Behind Tumblr

David Karp.

I had never heard of him before, but I probably should have. At a very young age, he taught himself how to code. Then, at the age of 21, David started a blogging website. (This was done while living in his parent’s house by the way.) You may have heard of it- its name is Tumblr. For David, it is the pursuit of creativity that drives him. He wanted to make a platform in which people could post content that would inspire others. Everyone is welcome there.

The site has millions and millions of blogs dedicated to everything under the sun. David realized that the market was in need of a communal blogging platform that was not solely videos, or pictures, or text, but all of these things packaged into a simple website. David is inspiring because he did not let his age get in the way of his business. When others saw him as young and inexperienced, David proved himself to be a capable and driven individual. He saw there was room for innovation and went to work. Eventually, his creation was purchased by Yahoo for 1.1 billion dollars. Today, Tumblr continues to grow and be culture all of its own.

You can visit the site by clicking the link below: