Teens with internet companies - rare or common?





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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: Teens with internet companies - rare or common?
By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 01:41 pm: Edit

I'm a jr and wondering how much an internet company I started last year will help me get into a good college (I'm looking at Wharton, Harvard, & Sloan). The company (coolstrings.com) grossed over $10,000 in its first year...how impressive is this to colleges? Does anyone reading this know of other kids who had similar entrepreneurial experience?

By the way, I don't think my other stats or too bad. Most significantly, I started an organizaton that integrates kids with mental disabilities - a 'best-buddy' sort of program.

I'll post other stats if anyone would be kind enough to assess my chances at the ivies.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 02:05 pm: Edit

I think starting an Internet company that produces even modest amounts of verifiable income is one of the off-center kinds of EC's that strikes adcoms very well: shows imagination, leadership, focus, etc.
Your best-buddy org sounds good, too.

I'm game to read your stats though I think stats are necessary but not sufficient.

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:03 pm: Edit

sat: (taken once, retaking next week) 1470 (780m,690v)

psat: 221 (780m, 740v, 690w) -- national merit presumably

gpa: 4.0 unweighted, something like 4.7 weighted

as many honors & APs as possible (next year 6APs)

25th class rank-- out of 725 (so like 3-4%tile) aso of soph year (should improve)


ECs: president of jr. achievement club as jr.,
NHS, active treasurer for jewish youth group (2 years), French Honor Society, French club, FBLA (going to States), Political Science club (Best Delegate at regional model united nations), started PALS (club to integrate kids with handicaps), piano lessons for 7+ years

more academics: ithaca clg course, summer business program at haverford, presidential classroom & UVA clg credit, qualified for AIME math test from AMC12 scores, 5th place at Lehigh University math competition

this summer...accepted into wharton's summer business program and gov school for entrepreneurship...might study in france

hmm that's everything I can think of right now...cousins go to harvard, yale, & penn...dno if that will help

By Magicman (Magicman) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:11 pm: Edit

i run a website with 125,000 visitors/every day - just got into usc with a 3.2 and 1270 - way under their averages. I have to imagine my business helped.

By Frank (Frank) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:20 pm: Edit

Starting is a successful company as a teen is VERY impressive to college admissions, I can tell you this first hand. It shows that you are a true entrepreneur...that you are a person who takes the initiative and has the drive to succeed in life. The thing that distiguishes starting a business from other EC's is that it is not your school that provides you the opportunity (unlike athletics, academic clubs/competitions, peer mediation, etc), instead you have your own vision and follow through with it, creating your own opportunity, and colleges love that. It stands out and looks really good.

I started my webdesign company (bluefront.net) and have been running it fairly successfully for more than 2 years. I made a really pretty big deal of this in my application. my essay touched upon it a great deal and I had an extremely strong recommendation written for me by one of my clients.

And so far, I've been accepted into schools like MIT, Columbia, CMU, Northwestern. I'm still waiting on Harvard, Penn, Cornell, Duke, Brown (will find out in a few days)

My academics are not exceptionally strong (1460/800/740/730/UW-3.45/W-4.16) and almost all of the people who got rejected from MIT had academic stats were much better than mine, so I'm sure this whole entrepreneurship thing pushed me over the edge.

I've already decided that I'm going to MIT next year.

So that's what I can say. Good luck to you next year.

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:21 pm: Edit

magicman -- what did you use to measure the amount of visitors...i get some stats that say I get in the tens or hundreds of thousands of hits every day...and some in the hundreds...I have yet to pay for a service to tell me the number of hits...and I usually go by the number of unique visitors...what did you use?

By Magicman (Magicman) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:23 pm: Edit

Fastclick.com my adverting network tells me exactly how many paid banner impressions i serve every day: 100,00 - 135,000/daily. Simple enough.

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:25 pm: Edit

Frank -- interesting business & website...congrats--I'm looking to start a new company soon...but I don't feel like using the frontpage templates that got me to www.coolstrings.com's present state -- so maybe we can work together on it if you're interested.

Your post cheered me up. Congratulations on your application and acceptance.

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:27 pm: Edit

Magicman - what is your website?

I say the 3 of us get together and start something big.

By Magicman (Magicman) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:28 pm: Edit

http://www.ameria.net

By Frank (Frank) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 03:39 pm: Edit

Jasontoff-- interested I am, yes
My AIM s/n is prisonuprising if you wanna reach me

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 04:15 pm: Edit

my sn: fatjason24

By Nyguy (Nyguy) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 06:31 pm: Edit

wow your internet company makes mine look bad. I only made 3k, but thats because i worked with other people. we lost profitability recently, but i merely mentioned the company in admissions material, you may want to focus on it

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 06:50 pm: Edit

nyguy--- mine was over $10,000 GROSS...aka total income...it seems you might be referring to profit for your company because you mentioned that the number of people that you worked with contributed to you making 3k. Profit-wise, my company probably made about $3k as well.

What is the url of your internet business nyguy?

By Jason817 (Jason817) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 07:02 pm: Edit

How would one go about starting their own company?

By Hightower (Hightower) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 07:04 pm: Edit

Man congrats you guys. I've always wanted to start a business, looked into a few things but never knew exactly what would work. Jason hopefully that summer program at Wharton will teach me some eh. I can't imagine that colleges wouldn't pay attention to businesses you've run in the past.

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 07:05 pm: Edit

(1)find a product. (2)create a website (including whatever essentials you feel necessary-- use other sites for examples)--(3)buy domain & hosting. (4)investigate paypal if you're unfamiliar with it.

and you're set.

the trouble is coming up with a product.

By Nyguy (Nyguy) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 09:32 pm: Edit

product is a caek, resell - our major problem was getting a captive audience to frequent our sites. Spamming always seemed intriguing but presented too much work and possible legal implications although, we did use some less than lusual techniques to gain visitors. Our site actually changed peoples away message to advertise our products lol it was genius but almost lost us our host. Oh well, post up some aims and we can chat. I know a kid paying his way through Rockester with his internet company.

By Mattymatt (Mattymatt) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 09:47 pm: Edit

approximatly how much $$ to start up an e-commerace company? Also how would i go about finding a wholesaler to buy in bulk from if im going to resell

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 09:56 pm: Edit

to mattymatt--I started my company with $0. I used my parent's credit card to pay for the first month's $15 hosting fee (free domain with offer) and by the time the bill came, I had made the $15 to pay her back...so it doesn't take much.

As for a wholesaler to resell...there are countless sources online so just search.

to nyguy--- use pay per click search engines--they are all the advertising i need (i reccomend overture.com)

By Mattymatt (Mattymatt) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 10:30 pm: Edit

thx for the help.. but your company sells bead accessories.. i meant how much $$ should i set aside to buy from wholesaler..in other words, you couldn't have gotten your product for free.. how much did u spend?

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 11:18 pm: Edit

well that totally depends on the price of your product and the quantity you plan to sell and the number of different types of products, etc., etc. If you plan to buy from a wholesaler overseas, think of a $500 investment at the very minimum (+S&H which can get expensive). Within the United States, you might be able to start with as little as $50....but not if you're selling expensive products like TVs, dvd players, etc.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 02:00 am: Edit

Entrenpreneurs.
How to you really handle those complicated legal stuff such as incorporating and paying taxes?

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 02:01 am: Edit

Entrenpreneurs.
How do you really handle those complicated legal stuff such as incorporating and paying taxes?

By Magicman (Magicman) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 02:06 am: Edit

Its great if you dont have a product to sell - since I just run through advertising networks - they handle all my tax stuff with my ssn then send me a W and I pay it off. Easy.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 02:14 am: Edit

Then did you incorporated your company?

By Frank (Frank) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 03:04 am: Edit

heheh, I made close to 8 grand over 2 years with my business (above) and I didn't pay a single cent to the IRS... All my clients just wrote me checks which I cashed into my bank account, but I never bothered to report any of it as business revenue... ah well.

By Creedthang (Creedthang) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 05:26 am: Edit

ok frank,magicman,jasontoff

i have respect for you guys man!
im applying early d to wharton and to sloans.

business is my passion.

i know a college education helps a lot but the fact is i am dying to get out and start my own company.my dad is good business man.
ive done stuff like trading of stocks

but i see myself as an entrenpreneur.
guys like sam walton are my idols..

before i ask for your advice let me tell you that i live in bombay india.

ok i wanna know this.

1)how do you decide on which product you wanted to sell..
2)how do u get your hands on the products?.do u guys go to the manafacturers and buy wholesale and then make a profit of about 20% 30% on them.
3)the most difficult part.how do you market these products.spam?.how long did it take to get a decent number of hits on your site?

4)who does all the delivery and stuff like that?.and how is money transfered?


--------------------------------------------------


my email id is nigelnyla@hotmail.com.

i wanna know more about all your business ventures..

thanks..
appreciate feedback.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 05:36 am: Edit

Hi frank!
I highly repected you.
I went to your website, and it is great.

Did you hired other people to do the web design?

Or you did all the work with your friends?

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 05:39 am: Edit

Hi magicman!

which advertising network are you working with?
and have you in corporated your company(those complicated legal stuff are fraightening to me)?

By Frank (Frank) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 03:40 pm: Edit

Amylase, thanks:)
Nope, it was a one-man operation the whole time. I did all the designs myself.
No splitting of profits or anything, which was very nice.
As a matter of fact I made so much dough that I bought this car: http://www.cardomain.com/id/lo_rider

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 03:53 pm: Edit

amylase -

i did not incorporate my company though I looked into it....too costly and not worth it.

I talked to my dad's accountant and found that internet companies do not have to pay taxes on out-of-state orders (or that was what i understood at least). Also, one does not have to pay taxes on income that is reinvested into advertising, and other such business expenses (not including inventory). Therefore, only a little money was left that would be taxable...and since it was probably so small that either it wouldn't be taxable or would amount to so little that it didn't matter. In fact, I could say that the money that came from in-state orders was reallocated to advertising...thus I don't need to pay taxes? I think at least...the accountant said I was OK.

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 04:06 pm: Edit

creedthang--

glad you have respect for us :)

you live in india eh? what's it like over there?

in answer to your questions...

1)how do you decide on which product you wanted to sell..

i think the best products sort of reveal themselves...either you realize a certain product (invention many times) is a good idea....or you see someone else with a potential product==such was my case, when I saw my friend giving away popular hemp necklaces. It is difficult to brainstorm for a product...instead, keep your eye out for things that people really like.


2)how do u get your hands on the products?.do u guys go to the manafacturers and buy wholesale and then make a profit of about 20% 30% on them.

I think you'll find more luck getting items made yourself or by your friends...thats what I do. You could try reselling through wholesale-- but it seems that there are many big companies already out there that dominate the re-selling fields...and because of their mega-relationships with other companies, they can offer really good prices


3)the most difficult part.how do you market these products.spam?.how long did it take to get a decent number of hits on your site?

It took a few months to get a decent number of hits on my site. This was mainly because I did not know how to advertise. I tried spamming but got sooo many complaint emails and return emails that it was close to a failure. I probably made money via spamming but the time it took to respond to 100 unique emails a day from confused/mad/excited people was a pain. The MOST EFFECTIVE form of advertising on the internet is pay per click search engine listings. If you can get a customer from a search engine, where they SPECIFICALLY looked up the product they were looking for, that is 100x as valuable as a random person clicking a banner on a website. Also, since it is pay-per-click, you are guaranteed that they will at least enter your site (while tv & radio ads, etc don't necessarily get people to your site). Cost per clicks range from a few cents to a few bucks (I pay on average about 6 cents a click)---depends on the cost of your product and the number of companies competing for the search engine result listing (1st place costs more than 2nd and 3rd, etc etc)


4)who does all the delivery and stuff like that?.and how is money transfered?

I ship via USPS because it is cheapest. I can charge $0.99 per product to ship, and still make money off of shipping (nicely put as 'handling' fees). For supply orders, I ship via a faster rate mail (priority mail, also USPS) and charge $5.25 (tho it costs about $4 typically). If I wanted to be more organized and make things a bit easier, I could ship via UPS through my PayPal account and offer package tracking...but I want to be as inexpensive as possible and make the most money possible. I want to encourage people to order a necklace or two and only have to pay a couple bucks shipping...instead of paying $6.50 shipping for a small bracelet, for example. Money is transferred in one of two ways. Through the internet, customers can pay by debit card or credit card through PayPal (they create an account with paypal in the process). PayPal takes like 1.5% + 30cents per transaction (obviously worth it). Also, customers can print out a printable order form I created and send in a check, money order, or cash (at their own risk).

I hope I answered your questions...feel free to ask any more.

By Jason817 (Jason817) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 06:46 pm: Edit

Can you guys give me links your websites plz? Thanks.

By Dxiw (Dxiw) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 09:15 pm: Edit

I run a computer company, heres the link.

http://www.bluelightpc.com/

All profit on that site is made through free things the comapnies given me. So far about 300$ in hardware in 3 months.

The real money comes from my other company that I run in my local area selling computers, we are just getting started and doing well, possibly I may expand to www with that one eventually.

By Jason817 (Jason817) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 09:18 pm: Edit

Cool site but how exactly do you make money from it?

By Jasontoff (Jasontoff) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 10:44 pm: Edit

my website: www.coolstrings.com

nice website dxiw

By Frank (Frank) on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 10:53 pm: Edit

http://bluefront.net


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