Archive for Technology

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 whateverlife.com 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:

EchoMark and EchoSure

David Narrow has created substantial waves as an entrepreneur in the field of healthcare. At the mere age of 25, he is the CEO of Sonavex and creator of EchoMark and EchoSure.

David’s career with Sonavex began when he noticed that doctors would often have trouble locating previous surgical sites on patients. Locating these surgical sites is crucial for doctors if they are performing a follow-up procedure on a site. Usually the sites would be marked with implants that could be viewed later with an ultrasound. However, the implants that were currently being used were often difficult to accurately pinpoint in the ultrasounds. David realized that the healthcare industry needed a better implant that could be more easily seen and located with an ultrasound. So he started Sonavex and designed EchoMark.

EchoMark is a surgical implant made from a polymer material that is harmless to the human body. At the end of surgery, a doctor can insert EchoMark into the surgical site to mark it for later procedures. EchoMark’s unique shape causes the sound waves of an ultrasound to bounce off of it at multiple angles, enabling doctors and nurses to distinguish its location more quickly and accurately than previous surgical markers. If a second surgery in the area is not needed, EchoMark dissolves within 18-24 months after insertion, without needing to be removed. David’s product aptly filled an important need in healthcare, but it wasn’t long before he found a new need to tackle.

Another problem that medical professionals face is the occurrence of blood clots in patients who have undergone any surgical procedure in which veins or arteries are reconnected. Over 550,000 patients per year experience this type of surgery, which always involves the risk of blood clots. If a clot occurs and is not diagnosed and treated quickly, the patient may experience serious harm and have to undergo even more extensive surgeries. In response to this problem, David designed EchoSure, an ultrasound system that monitors patients’ newly connected blood vessels for clots. The system automatically alerts medical personnel of flow loss in a vessel. EchoSure’s intuitive interface allows medical professionals to use it without needing any training in ultrasound. As such, EchoSure acts as an early warning system against blood clots, allowing for rapid diagnosis and treatment before they can cause substantial damage.

David Narrow’s creativity and innovation to solve problems in healthcare have benefited numerous patients and have paved the way for even more valuable technology.

The Mind Behind Mozilla Firefox

Blake Ross epitomizes what it means to be a millennial entrepreneur. But before Blake’s story is told, here’s a word about Netscape.

In the late 1990s, Netscape Communications Corporation, an internet suite, was competing against the Microsoft giant, Internet Explorer. One could hardly call it competing, though, because Internet Explorer was beating their competition to a pulp. Netscape needed a better product in order to survive against Internet Explorer. So in 1998, Netscape made development of their new version open source, meaning that any programmers could help develop it. This is where Blake enters scene.

Blake loved programming, and by the age of 10 he had constructed his first website. At the age of 15, he started developing with Netscape. He and two others, David Hyatt and Joe Hewitt, would eventually become the major minds behind Mozilla Firefox through the Netscape open source project. In 2004, at the age of 19, Blake helped release the first version of Firefox. By 2010, Firefox surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in Europe, and Firefox continues to be successful to this day.

Blake started working on another project in 2006 called Parakey. It was a computer interface that he wanted to be able to perform the same functions as an operating system. Shortly after its development in 2007, Facebook bought Parakey for a multi-million dollar deal.

Blake Ross excellently shows the benefits of starting young and getting out into the entrepreneurial world as soon as possible. He took something that he enjoyed doing and was able to use his skills to do big things in the field of technology.

Jack Kim- Benelab Search Engine

Jack Kim is a young entrepreneur that is still in high school in Seattle. He is the founder of a search engine called Benelab that is designed to make philanthropy easier by generating donations. Jack’s project is not-for-profit and he plans to donate all of the revenue generated by Benelab. Jack quickly learned the power of a search engine’s ability to generate wealth from very little traffic through his work with search engines in the past. After developing an outline for his idea, Jack got a team of his high school classmates together to start working on the project. So far, Benelab has been incredibly successful at generating wealth, and all of this wealth is then donated to different charities and organizations to help the less fortunate. Benelab provides an easy yet effective way of enabling everday internet users to participate in philanthropy, even if they do not realize it.

“Many people think of charity as something limited to the rich or “good”, but in reality it’s something that can and should be incorporated into anyone’s daily life – you just have to know how.” – Jack Kim

Spotify – Daniel Ek

Spotify or Apple Music?

Answer: Spotify

Spotify has been around for many years, but it especially rose to dominance in the last few years. However, it hasn’t always been success and diamonds for the two Swedish founders and entrepreneurs, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.

Once upon a time (back in 2005), they were two guys fiddling and working on the development of Spotify from Ek’s apartment. It was so hot inside because of all the servers running– and the two founders were said that they were forced to sit around half-naked to avoid sweating to their death.

But let’s back up.

Daniel Ek has always had an unparalleled love for music… and technology. The young Swedish boy was without a biological father in his life and was given the chance to combine music and technology in his studies at secondary school. After completing IT college where he graduated with top grades, he landed a job at Europe’s largest advertisement company and rapidly became successful. At that age, 23, he was financially independent, owned a red Ferrari Modena, and owned a VIP card to the hottest clubs in Stockholm, Sweden. Source

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Nelson Sexton: Unturned and Smartly Dressed Games

Nelson Sexton is a Canadian man, now 19, who has been programming and working on games since a young age. When he was 16, he began work on a game called Unturned, an open-world survival game set in a zombie apocalypse. The game is relatively simple and doesn’t boast photorealistic graphics, but t has still managed to attract nearly over 10,000 concurrent players almost around the clock, and peaking at over 60,000 player. Unturned spent three years as an early access game on Steam, the popular video game publishing platform, before being released early this year. It is also free to play; revenue is earned through the sale of gold memberships, $5 a pop, and keys to loot crates occasionally found in-game, which contain custom cosmetic items.

Mr. Sexton has been sole developer of Unturned until very recently, when he worked with community member on the most recent content updates. Virtually the entire game has been built from the ground up by this single individual, under the banner of Smartly Dressed Games, his personal studio. Certainly an impressive accomplishment, particularly for someone who started as a high school student!

 

 

Warby Parker: Making Glasses Cheap Again

Warby Parker has reimagined the eyewear industry as the first company to introduce affordable eyewear that can be purchased online. The company offers prescription eyeglasses for a flat $95 and has a number of stylish options. Customers can order a number of different eyeglasses, try them on at home, and return the pairs that they do not want. The idea started with a simple question. Why are glasses not sold online? Founder, Neil Blumenthal asked that question so he recruited three friends and Warby Parker was born. However, the company ran into problems early on. Forty-eight hours after the website had launched, it had to be taken down because they received so many orders. The website did not indicate when a product sold out which led to a 20,000 person wait list. Eventually, they sorted out their website issues and are currently making waves in the industry.

This company peaked my interest because of Warby Parker’s ability to recognized gaps in the marketplace. Currently, Luxottica has a near monopoly in the eyeglasses industry. While Luxottica controls the brick-and-mortar sales, they do not address the online market. Neil Blumenthal saw that gap in the market and was able to capitalize on it. However, the problem he solved wasn’t complicated, it was simple. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest.

 

Feeling lost? This young entrepreneur found a solution!

Four years ago, the then 19 year old Benjamin Marasco received some of the worst news possible… “You have Cancer.”

Being diagnosed and fighting cancer is hard enough of a battle leaving you to feel lost in life… but when Ben went to various hospitals to receive treatment, he time and time again would get lost on his way to appointments. This consistent confusion made him feel unseen, unimportant and just another number… not to mention being regularly late to his appointments. But Ben asked himself if their might be a different way to go about navigating hospitals. A way to get to appointments on time, take the stress out of navigating hospitals and focus on the patients and their families. This is why Ben founded Pathpoint Health…

Pathpoint is an app recently launched at Washington Hospital available on the Apple Store and Google Play. It allows users to input their destination in the hospital and gives them step by step guided instructions to get to their destinations on time! Using IPS (Indoor Positioning System) to guide users, Pathpoint solves the traditional problems of hospital visits while providing a new experience to patients. The startup projects to expand to providing its services to multiple other hospitals in the near future.

Entrepreneurs like Ben demonstrate key characteristics that make them successful. Determination and Drive are essential as seen with his successful rise against cancer and graduating with the award of Senior Man of the Year from Grove City College just this past spring as well as in his business venture. Other important skills include communication, teamwork and innovation. His promising company is one that inspires me to create a business founded on one of my passions to help others, as I hope it does for you too. Ben is innovating the healthcare field with a new way we interact with hospitals, a new way to give direction to those who are feeling lost in mind, body and soul. A new vision for hospitals everywhere..

     

 

 

 

Carter Liebman Design

Carter Liebman is a current college freshman. He is an Adobe Certified Associate in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, as well as being certified in various other areas. He not only does graphic design, but has a vast experience in theater. Carter combines these skills and passions in a unique way, creating marketing design for theater shows. In this design, he has the ability to create designs for posters, social media, book covers, shirts, mugs, tickets, playbills, programs, buttons, wristbands, and various other necessities for many aspects of productions. After being recognized with awards in several areas, he started a small business around web design and promotional material.

Teenage Ingenuity

Links to his past Kickstarter campaigns:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/omnicode/urbn-wallet

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/omnicode/smile-stand-the-phone-stand-reinvented

My brother, Joey Cafaro, is an entrepreneur on a small scale with a unique story. At the age of 14 (2 years ago), he and his friend were bored during the summer and felt the need to make a new product. If you would have asked them frankly they would have told you it was a way to beef up their college applications, but they truly enjoyed ideating. Joey sat around the house toying with ideas and thinking about everyday problems. Then one day an idea came to him. He saw the need for a phone stand that you could use to prop up your phone to watch videos, but also wrap your headphones around so they did not become completely entangled when you weren’t using them, and thus the Smile Stand was born ( at this time there were no equivalents on the market). Next, they manufactured prototypes at TechShop Pittsburgh and decided to hire a photographer to pitch the idea on the website “Kickstarter” to raise capital to manufacture more product. Moreover, to spread their product they attended craft shows to get their product into the pockets of consumers and applied for a patent to protect their idea, with legal help from my Dad. They had a very successful campaign and went on to raise over $5,000 on Kickstarter. After this project, they really wanted to revolutionize the wallet after analyzing other successful wallet Kickstarter campaigns. They created what they pitched as, “An elegant wallet crafted from eco-friendly hardwoods featuring a uniquely convenient design to protect your valuables.” In this project, even my brother would admit that they got overconfident in their creative ability and were overconsumed by their desire to create an eco-friendly revolutionized wallet. The design and idea was never a real hit.  None the less, they ended up raising over $2,000 on Kickstarter. At the current moment, they aren’t creating any new ideas, but my brother continually mentions problems that could have a feasible solution. He is always thinking! He inspires me because of his creativity and resilience. Moreover, he wasn’t afraid to fail, even though he was only 14. He learned a lot from creating these products and will take these lessons into the rest of his life.

 

Smile Stand

 

 

Urbn Wallet