Author Archive for Ryan Meyer

myYearbook (MeetMe) – Catherine Cook


Catherine Cook was 14 when she came up the idea myYearbook which later became MeetMe.  The idea came to her when her family moved and she and her brother started attending a new high school.  They didn’t know anyone and decided to flip through the school’s yearbook to see if they recognized anyone.  The effort turned out useless and Catherine thought what if everything could be put online.

With the help of her older brother Geoff, who is 11 years older than her and had experience with startups, they launched myYearbook in 2005.  The new site was met with success.  By 2006 the site had over 1 million users.  They weren’t making enough money however and brought in investors to help fund the sites expansion.  Their pitch to the investors was that they were MySpace for highschool.  In 2008, myYearbook partnered with a game developer to add games to the site to better engage users.

In 2009 Catherine added an instant messaging client to the site so that users could message in real time.  By 2010, users on the site were posting over 1 million posts per day.  During this time they decided to redesign and expand the site to reach an older demographic of people instead of only attracting high school students.  This decesion brought them $23 million in revenue.

In 2011 myYearbook was bought by Quepaso, a Latino social networking site.  In 2012 the two companies combined into one and was named MeetMe.  The re-branding was successful and MeetMe quickly took over the world as one of the biggest social discovery platforms.  One simple idea a teenager had turned into a multi-millionaire company, allowing people to meet each other all over the world.

Snap Caps – Maddie Bradshaw


Maddie Bradshaw was worth her first million at only 13 years old.  At 16, she was selling over 60,000 of her unique necklaces a month and making over $1.6 million annually.

Her idea for these unique, interchangeable, bottle cap necklaces started out as simple school locker decorations.  At 10 years old her uncle had given her 50 old bottle caps.  She decorated them, attached magnets to them, and when her friends saw them they all wanted some.  This inspired Maddie to create different designs with bottle caps.

She created Snap Caps.  Snap Caps are necklaces with metal pendants on them to attract and magnetize bottle caps.  Every bottle cap has some kind of symbol, letter, or design so that a person can swap different caps out depending on the style they want to wear for the day.

Maddie found immediate success with her necklaces.  In nearly every store she launched them in they all sold out.  As her business continued to grow and she made her first million at 13, she attracted the attention of the national media and ended up being interviewed on ABC and was able to pitch her project on Shark Tank.  The Sharks loved her idea so much that THREE of them invested into her company!

Currently 19 years old, Maddie continues to grow and expand her business.  She has said, “The great thing about our company is that it’s growing with me.  As my tastes change, so will the products.”  Maddie has also published a book called You Can Start a Business, Too.  Her advise to other young entrepreneurs like her is to, “Follow your passion. If you come up with an idea and you love it, chances are other people will, too.”

WordPress – Matt Mullenweg


Matt Mullenweg is a web developer and online social media entrepreneur.  At 25, he created WordPress, an opensource content management software, the very software this website is using right now.  WordPress has given millions of creators the ability to create their own unique website and blogs.

Matt Mullenweg actually dropped out of college in October of 2004, and worked for CNET, making their blogs and website media better with his WordPress Software.  Matt Mullenweg left CNET that next year to continue to work of WordPress, as it was becoming a major hit.

Matt brought on significant investors he knew would be able to help him with his company, one of those investors even being CNET.  By January 2009, WordPress had become the fastest growing blogging service sites.  WordPress’s success to its competitors have been compared to Facebook’s success over Myspace.  Facebook revolutionized social media and WordPress revolutionized website design and blogging.

By 2011, WordPress was powering over 50 million blogs globally.  The popularity of the software had grown incredibly fast.  By 2014 WordPress was cited at powering over 22% of the world’s most popular websites.  Matt Mullenweg is viewed as an inspiring innovator and is a respected entrepeneur.  Since 2005 he has been a frequent speaker at different conferences and events all over the world.  Matt Mullenweg is an example of someone who pursues their aspirations and ideas.  If it weren’t for him you wouldn’t be reading this blog after all.

The Offline Search Engine

Deepak Ravindran, the co-founder of “Innov”, has created the offline Google for the billions of “dumb-phone” users around the world.  Innov is an automated artificial intelligence that receives SMS (text messages) from subscribed users and then replies via text message with the information asked for.


Innov plugs the gap for people who have phones, but have no internet access.  Deepak created Innov with the dream of giving people access to information in a simple and affordable way.  In developing Innov Deepak said, ” We don’t want to be another Internet company competing with Android, or any other OS.  We just want to provide a solution for all of us to bring the Internet to the people that don’t have it.”

Innov offers an affordable monthly subscription plan of 30 rupees per month, which is less than one US dollar.  This plan offers dumb-phone users full access to the offline web.  Deepak launched Innov in India, however today they are operating in seven different countries.  “More than 120 million users have tried the service around the world so far,” says Deepak. “We’re focusing on developing nations – we want to be the Google for the developing world.”

Deepak’s innovation and goals as an entrepreneur are inspiring.  He saw a problem, people having cell phones with no internet access, and found a simple yet innovative way to solve the problem.  Not only has his business been successful, but it has brought about social change for good, bringing information to groups of people who before have no access to the internet.

The Supercapacitor


In 2013, Eesha Khare showcased her energy supercapacitor at an intertnational science fair.  Her invention, a “super battery” in nature, has the ability to fully charge and hold a large amount of energy within 20 to 30 seconds.  This supercapacitor can pack a ton of energy into a tiny amount of space and hold the charge for a very long time.

Eesha has been and is currently working on its future applications.  She believes her supercapacitor can revolutionize phones and other electronic devices in the near future.  Eesha has also stated that her supercapacitor is 10 times more efficient and long lasting the current rechargeable battery.

Eesha is currently working through the second part of her product innovation.  Her prototype and technology were a success and she is currently working on how to ready her invention/product for the mass market.

While it’s been 3 years, her and the supercapacitors future is very promising.  The supercapacitor has the capability to revolutionize the technological industry.  The concept of “waiting for your device to charge” would be completely erased.  Eesha’s idea for faster and longer lasting energy will “literally” be in our hands sooner than we know it.

The Hype Machine

Music is one of the centerpieces of pop-culture today.  It’s also a huge part of each of our daily lives.  And with our current technology we can music downloaded to our devices with the press of button.  But how do we discover music?  How can we share our discoveries and favorite songs with other music lovers.  Leave that to the Hype Machine.  In 2005, Anthony Volodkin created Hype Machine.  A music website and community (now with an app), that allows users to post blogs, share music, discuss music, and buy songs and even concert tickets.

Anthony’s vision for Hype Machine was to create a community that brought all music lovers and their thoughts and opinions together.  For 2005 this was revolutionary, as many music and artist “reviews” were only featured in select magazines or on radio stations.  Anthony set out to make a social platform for music to fix this problem in his eyes , and Hype Machine was a success.

Hype Machine is based in New York City and along with it’s website, it uses Facebook and Twitter as its other platforms.  Hype Machine has steadily grown since 2005.  Hype machine has gained revenue through ads, linking songs the music retailers, and by partnering with other platforms such as Soundcloud.  Anthony Volodkin created the Facebook of the music industry and has bridged the gap between customer, artist, and producer relations.  Hype Machine has all of the music hype!