The Internet from the view of teen entrepreneur’s
The Internet is an amazing place for any people of any age. Search, explore and find. But in this article, which is by the way my first one, I will show you what the Internet looks like when you are a teen entrepreneur.
(I apologise for any errors, English is not my native language).
First, Who am I?
Well I am an 16-year-old boy from Germany. I have been coding for three years, and know my stuff pretty well. I love to build new apps or websites (which is my best skill). I start learning code as my Dad showed me some Visual Basic, on pieces of Paper (Very normal data saving to that time he wrote that code), that he wrote many years ago. After that, my journey began.
I started playing around with any computer software stuff I could find, learned my first programming language and started to build some Unity 3D games. After I spend my life from 12–14 with that stuff, I wanted to build something cool. So I learned Web Development, because it gives me the opportunity to be visible to the most Internet Users. But what to build? Well I spend about 3 months with that, and finally come to a result. A social network. Boring? Nope. It was an amazing experience, that I will tell you about:
So after making the decision of building a Social Network, I need to find a name. In school I asked as many friends as possible, and wanted them to think of a name, finally I had one: “postpap”.
(The logo I invented for “postpap”…)
the coding part. A few weeks were over and I had my first prototype. A Twitter Bootstrap Interface, PHP as back-end and MySQL as a Database. It worked as I want it, but I had no huge User numbers as may have guessed already. But I need to say, I learned. I learned that much as I did never before.
What did I after my 14th birthday? Try to find some new technologies I can make my software run way faster. But I didn’t get any further on that, so I build PHP stuff for that year. A CMS there, some Open source work there. The real time wasting began. But I finally get out of it, and started to develop with Node.js as I were 15. I was fascinated about all the opportunities I had thanks to Node.js, but as you may know, there is the Callback Hell 🔥. That was the point, my motivation fall from 100 to 0, null. But there was some light at the end of an long long dark tunnel. So I learned many new things during that way through the darkness. I took a look at Elixir, at Go, at Ruby, even at Rust. But nothing was speaking to me, to stay.
But finally I found Crystal 🎉🎉🎉🎉. Yes, it is an alpha release. But the mix of Ruby Syntax and Speed of C? Just incredible. (http://crystal-lang.org)
And now I am here and write this article…….
What do I do in my free time?
Coding and exploring/inventing new ideas in/for the Internet. A small story that I will pick up later again: Last year I took my first look at Bitcoins. I thought it was something amazing, but after trying to mine some, I canceled that idea quickly. Way too expensive with about $0,32 per kWh. So I decided today (the 25th May, 2017) to start Bitcoin Trading. But as you may have guessed, I need to be at least 18 to use the trading platforms.
In school I have some CS classes, but my teacher finally said, she can’t teach me anything new…. But here is always something to learn.
What do I want to tell you with this Post?
So as you already know, I am 16 years old. As I know coding I want to start to work with others on products, but not in 2 years, now. But is there another way than selling it personally without any big platform that collects clients and find the right developer? Not really, because the most companies can’t work with under 18 teens, and many people don’t trust me when I tell my age.
Maybe you ask yourself, why I don’t wait until I am 18? Let’s explain it with an example. I will choose the Bitcoin story from the top, that I mentioned. Last year I took a look at Bitcoin Mining, but with $0,32 per kWh it wouldn’t be very profitable in my area. Despite this, since the price if the Bitcoin is exploding, I wanted to invest some money. But as you may have guessed, I am not 18 and not allowed to trade any Bitcoins on any platform. Why don’t wait? Well, the price of the Bitcoin is exploding right now, and no one can say for sure it is still profitable in the next three years.
(Bitcoin Price growth over 2 years)
Sure there are many forecasts telling that the Bitcoin price will still grow over the next years, but it is only a forecast.
Finally, my motivation is near to ground zero. I know so much, but I am not allowed in any way to make money myself with my skills or my products, without using an Account from an 18 years old or older person, which is by the way also not valid, because you are lying about the user’s age.
Now another example: Freelancing Platforms.
Since I know code, I want to have a experiences working with others. And the best way to do that, is using a big platform that has many job offers open and many clients to work for. But again, there is my age. I am not allowed to sign any contracts as I am not 18 or older (depending on your local laws).
Another “punch into the face”, because there are so many small tasks that can be done by a single person in days, but it would have give me another experience. Yes, this is very frustrating, but there is no legal way to join there.
What can I do with that time?
Well, I can build an awesome portfolio and start making connections to other people in this section, which I don’t do much personally, just some talking and answering on Quora (https://www.quora.com/profile/Daniel-Oltmanns?share=f07b5648&srid=byLc).
I could do some open source work on GitHub and do something good with it, what I do as well (http://github.com/oltmannsdaniel).
I could build personal projects, what I do as well, but it is a problem for me as well, because I can’t sign up on ad platforms like AdSense, or create an PayPal Account or Money API (like Stripe) Account without having my parents to manage the accounts. Also it is hard to find people that want to work with you, because you are so young. So finding a good Business Partner or CO-Founder is pretty hard.
Yes there are some issues, but I can understand lawmakers. They just want to protect us against any big threats or something similar. But there is definitely something missing, like some start power. We young boys and girls have a huge knowledge, but we hate to be dependent on our parents in that part. Parents are good for us, they help us where they can and protect us. I have the luck that my father understands tech, but what if a young smart techie doesn’t have a parent part like that?
So my final sentence: There are so many smart boys and girls out there, that know as much about tech as you did when you were 20, but we just getting reduced to our age, not skills.