19 year old has earned $1.2 million, and expects well over $2million in revenue

by Agz21
107 replies
A 19 year, Nate Drouin, from Boston started an online fundraising site in January, 2011. His father, loaned him $250,000 for start-up, and he bought the fundraise.com domain for $40,000 from somebody...

The company has already earned ~$1.2 million, and expects to be well over $2million in revenue by the end of 2011. He says the site serves as a place where anyone can start their own charity or fundraiser, and anyone can donate. The company takes 7.5% of all donations (that's where revenue comes from).

It says in the below article that the donation industry is $25 billion

the article: 19-Year-Old CEO Nate Drouin Raises $1.2 Million For Boston Startup Fundraise.com « CBS Boston

His website : https://www.fundraise.com

so what do you think? Is it fair that he got help? does it motivate you?
#$12 #$2million #earned #expects #million #revenue #year
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Agz21 View Post

    Is it fair that he got help?

    Are you upset that he did what it took to start his business on the right foot?

    It was a good idea, and any investor with half their wits would have probably taken that deal too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Agz21
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      Are you upset that he did what it took to start his business on the right foot?

      It was a good idea, and any investor with half their wits would have probably taken that deal too.

      i was asking what you guys think...that's it...facts aside, I think it takes some guts for anyone to start a business with that high amount of money...

      so I think, it was a good thing, at least he didn't blow all that up on an expensive gadget
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  • Profile picture of the author gefflong
    Not sure if it motivates me or not. It more gets me thinking... What the He** does he need $250k to start up a website?!?!

    Most of us aren't going to pony up $40K to buy a domain name... in cash.

    But I suppose premise is good enough...

    Dream up an idea and go for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    He had a vision... did not make excuses and just went for it... What a great lesson this kid taught a lot of people.

    Good for him.
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    • Profile picture of the author Agz21
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      He had a vision... did not make excuses and just went for it... What a great lesson this kid taught a lot of people.

      Good for him.
      I was thinking this as well for quite a while, but not too sure if that was his vision or not though...

      could be his father's idea too? dunno
      ...
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Agz21 View Post

        I was thinking this as well for quite a while, but not too sure if that was his vision or not though...

        could be his father's idea too? dunno
        ...

        I would think that if it was his father's idea, he would have given the task to someone with a proven track record, rather than his 19yo son.

        Family does make it easier to lend money, but it seldom justifies giving a bunch of it for some hair-brained scheme.
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    • Profile picture of the author wademvp91
      congrats to him, but I must say, if his father gave him $250K, it seems like he had a lot of help. But again congrats nonetheless
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadOath
    I wanna know how his father makes *his* money. LOL.
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    • Profile picture of the author gefflong
      Originally Posted by ChadOath View Post

      I wanna know how his father makes *his* money. LOL.
      If you would have read the article...

      Drouin, who is 19, said in an interview that he started the company in January with $250,000 from his father, Victor Drouin, president of Green Mountain Communications Inc. of New Hampshire.
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      • Profile picture of the author Agz21
        Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

        If you would have read the article...

        Drouin, who is 19, said in an interview that he started the company in January with $250,000 from his father, Victor Drouin, president of Green Mountain Communications Inc. of New Hampshire.

        thanks for clearing that up mate
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      • Profile picture of the author Souldja
        Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

        If you would have read the article...

        Drouin, who is 19, said in an interview that he started the company in January with $250,000 from his father, Victor Drouin, president of Green Mountain Communications Inc. of New Hampshire.
        When I started I got 700$ gfrom my father but I'm not earn anything yet. But I'm still trying. Maybe I have to ask for more money?
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    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      Well this is a case of "who you know".

      If your dad has $250k to punt on your idea and your dad is knowledgable about how to convert your idea into a real business (in this case from his telco experience) and you have the right connections (probably from dad), and you have the drive to succeed then yes anyone can repeat this.

      "It was a good idea, and any investor with half their wits would have probably taken that deal too."

      Not an original idea though - many of these sites already exist. High risk punt on a .com startup. 100's of these fail for each success.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sardent
      I want to know what he spent the other $210,000 on.

      Originally Posted by ChadOath View Post

      I wanna know how his father makes *his* money. LOL.
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      • Profile picture of the author swilliams09
        Originally Posted by Sardent View Post

        I want to know what he spent the other $210,000 on.
        Office space, lawyers fees, employees, marketing materials, meetings with major charities organizations. It's not like you run this sort of business at home in your underwear.

        Is it fair? Well you know what they say. When you start a business who do you get money from first? The three Fs. Family, Friends and Fools! He just happened to have a well off family. My parents gave my $300 bucks to get my website, biz cards and start my first wso when I had nothing. Now I'm doing offline and online work and work full time for myself. Thanks Mom and Dad! I'm getting ready to hit them up for an equipment loan for Christmas so I can expand my services, and I'm asking a couple of friends for a few grand to get some serious marketing done. You have to use what you got, to get what you want.
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  • It's not about "did he make excuses" or his ability to "go for it."

    He had an opportunity to receiving funding. Anyone who has the ability to get funding can achieve the same.

    The real question is, if he had bootstrapped the entire business, would he be receiving the same results as today. That is highly unlikely, because he would have gone through a different set of growing pains to achieve the same results -- without having initial funding of $250k.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
      Originally Posted by darrin_kuykendall View Post


      He had an opportunity to receiving funding. Anyone who has the ability to get funding can achieve the same.

      Not true. The world has seen lots of people burn big budgets even overnight. It takes "something" to make the money work. That guy has THAT something, imo.
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      • Originally Posted by Alex Barboza View Post

        Not true. The world has seen lots of people burn big budgets even overnight. It takes "something" to make the money work. That guy has THAT something, imo.
        False. You don't have to have "something" - the idea is not unique. He had the idea & the vision. He had the funding.

        Most start-ups & companies fail only for a few reasons, & the majority of those reasons are lack of capital at some point during the business. But reasons fall under these categories;
        1. Lack of capital or funding
        2. No viable market
        3. No competitive advantage
        4. Execution problems
        5. Expand too quickly

        "Something" has to do with nothing. Your much more likely to succeed with the right funding, especially $250k.
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        • Profile picture of the author magnates
          Originally Posted by darrin_kuykendall View Post

          False. You don't have to have "something" - the idea is not unique. He had the idea & the vision. He had the funding.

          Most start-ups & companies fail only for a few reasons, & the majority of those reasons are lack of capital at some point during the business. But reasons fall under these categories;
          1. Lack of capital or funding
          2. No viable market
          3. No competitive advantage
          4. Execution problems
          5. Expand too quickly

          "Something" has to do with nothing. Your much more likely to succeed with the right funding, especially $250k.
          $250k ?I need a lesson on how to raise more capital as an entrepreneur

          Darren I completely agree with you

          It is always better to have resources than not to

          business is a race to replensh your resources before it runs out

          As long as he doesn't go on a spending Spree it is going to be a little longer than a man with $500 budget

          Plus , i think personally he succeed because of who he knows

          His father has some connectsand it is a lot easier to succeed when you know the right people

          That said , we cannot take credit away from him ... He has multiplied his money 4 times even after investing it

          He has persuaded his father to part with $250k . He loves him but no one is going to throw away $250k

          and he has convinced other to help ... That is great wish him all the success
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          • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
            Originally Posted by magnates View Post

            That said , we cannot take credit away from him ... He has multiplied his money 4 times even after investing it

            He has persuaded his father to part with $250k . He loves him but no one is going to throw away $250k
            How has he multiplied his money? He's just got funding. There is no mention of how much equity he had to give away for that funding, nor has that got anything to do with how much the company has earned.

            For all we know, he might have just given away 90% of his company for $1.2m and LOST money (based on his initial equity).
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      • Profile picture of the author Agz21
        Originally Posted by Alex Barboza View Post

        Not true. The world has seen lots of people burn big budgets even overnight. It takes "something" to make the money work. That guy has THAT something, imo.

        I second this as well...personally I've know a few people who burnt all the moolah...

        well god job on the kid and his dad...
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          Anyone who has the ability to get funding can achieve the same.
          No, they can't. $250k to $1.2 million is quadrupling his money. You could give a lot of people on this forum $100 or $500 or $1000 and they would not be able to double that, let alone quadruple it.

          You had a father with good resources who knew and trusted his son's abilities - I think that's a good thing.

          kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Targeted Traffic
        Originally Posted by Alex Barboza View Post

        Not true. The world has seen lots of people burn big budgets even overnight. It takes "something" to make the money work. That guy has THAT something, imo.
        True...and the father did "know" his son...even if he was Bill Gates or something like that i don't think you would as easily lend 250K to your son without any serious analysis on the whole picture...
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    • Profile picture of the author enterpryzman
      Originally Posted by darrin_kuykendall View Post

      It's not about "did he make excuses" or his ability to "go for it."

      He had an opportunity to receiving funding. Anyone who has the ability to get funding can achieve the same.

      The real question is, if he had bootstrapped the entire business, would he be receiving the same results as today. That is highly unlikely, because he would have gone through a different set of growing pains to achieve the same results -- without having initial funding of $250k.


      Darrin,
      I must comepletely NOT agree with you on this one, it is far from true that anyone with funding could achieve the same, no way.
      You have to know that the vast majority lack everything needed to succeed in business, with or without money. I know many who spent large sums and had nothing but a failing business to show for it.
      Lastly, I would suggest that the money was important but not as important as the contacts I am sure his family has, these are out of reach from most of us and can take your business to a new level.

      Enterpryzman
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  • Profile picture of the author ProfessorSeo
    Banned
    I think that is a amazing story if you have a vision you should make it happen no matter what it takes! We choose our own destiny if you fail at something take it as lesson learned and move forward!

    He got help from his dad that's awesome If you have internet you have all the help you need and that's endless knowledge!
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Is it fair that he got help?

    Fair to whom? You and me? I don't see how we're affected by it. Of course it's fair. He had a father who had the money, believed in his son's ability and was willing to help him and in the end, the investment turned out to be a great one. Sounds like a fair deal!

    Now, is it "fair" in the sense that most of us don't have father's like that?

    NO!

    But that's life, some people get breaks and some people don't. But it's not to say that the boy would not have succeeded on his own!
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  • There are better questions we should be asking. For example, what marketing methods is he using to attract customers.

    I mean, you get an idea of a customer base by examining the revenue.
    Whereas, the business takes 7.5% of donations and has generated $1.9 million already since March 2011.

    Then we can examine what's it costs for him to get customers? Free marketing vs. Paid marketing. That's where we should be looking. Analyzing success to be able to achieve success.
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    • Profile picture of the author Agz21
      Originally Posted by darrin_kuykendall View Post

      There are better questions we should be asking. For example, what marketing methods is he using to attract customers.

      I mean, you get an idea of a customer base by examining the revenue.
      Whereas, the business takes 7.5% of donations and has generated $1.9 million already since March 2011.

      Then we can examine what's it costs for him to get customers? Free marketing vs. Paid marketing. That's where we should be looking. Analyzing success to be able to achieve success.

      From what I know, that site looks pretty new on alexa...also I really doubt his marketing techniques now

      because I've never seen such a thing until I read it today...even on facebook it's not there...

      though I guess he got a lot of free publicity...I'm guessing he hasn't done any fb marketing or any of that sort for that matter...
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  • Profile picture of the author DrAlexMV
    In order for a father to donate that much money to his son, the father himself must be a rather successful businessman. Trump started with that same amount of money way back in the day, seems that wealthy families know how to get their kids started.
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    • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
      What's with the red and blue fonts? OK, it's freaking me out a bit


      And I can't image needing that much to kick off a site, wow. If any number of folks here had that, well....they'd find ways to balance the countries' budget or something constructive - or not - while kicking back as money poured in from other ventures they'd tap into with those funds



      Good article, though, thanks for sharing! Very inspiring and neat giving-back venue.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by dbarnum View Post

        And I can't image needing that much to kick off a site, wow. If any number of folks here had that, well....they'd find ways to balance the countries' budget or something constructive - or not - while kicking back as money poured in from other ventures they'd tap into with those funds

        Forgive me for saying so, but "I know" that "you know".

        He certainly would not have needed $250k to start the website, but there would be other expenses to look at.

        He would have needed to get his programming in place and set up his merchant accounts.

        Don't they recommend in Business 101 to have at least 12 months operating capital before opening the doors to our businesses?

        And he would needed to do some initial advertising and press releases to get his initial group of customers in the door.

        Then he would need to launch a series of interviews to reach more funding shoppers and investors.

        Getting on something like Good Morning America could have done wonders for his business, and although the interview is free, he has to load himself on an airplane to go to New York for the interviews.

        On the marketing side of things, if he was doing things the right way, he may have needed to do a large number of personal appearances around the country, and that is not cheap either.

        Granted, you and I probably both boot strapped the launch of our businesses, but we have both served clients who have never heard of boot strapping anything.
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        • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post


          Granted, you and I probably both boot strapped the launch of our businesses, but we have both served clients who have never heard of boot strapping anything.

          Yep, those lucky folks. Alas, our day may come, my friend. Here's to booting those boot strapping days behind us - toast!

          And yep, I know - that site looks neat but could have sure cost a bundle to set up and run the right way. Reminds me of Kiva, multiple membership levels, payment structure, etc. going on. And yep, top public relations effort there, no doubt. You hit the nail on the head, tpw!
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    • Profile picture of the author Agz21
      Originally Posted by DrAlexMV View Post

      seems that wealthy families know how to get their kids started.
      well, partly true and partly not...I think it's just the coincidence of the kid and his father...

      In my city, there are wealthy people who spoil their kids...this story is quite unique...but what got me thinking is was the dad trying to pull some serious attention?

      I mean look at it this way...would you look at something that says "50 year old man makes a million" or "19 year old makes a million"

      I might be wrong though...but different roles are playing here
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    Is It Fair?

    For the most part, I'm not sure there are too many people willing to give
    their kids $250,000 for an idea that they have. As you can see, it was an
    investment and it DID turn out to be a good one for the father. There is a
    huge difference between thinking and doing. There IS nothing unfair about
    business being good for someone who had an idea and acted upon it.
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  • Profile picture of the author roosevelt
    I think what this kid has pulled of is just amazing. The start up of money he had certainly helped him in many ways. However, running a business is not easy whether you have a lot of money or not. So, I'm pretty sure he worked or was very smart about is investments. If you do not have enough money right now, then you just have to look for investors or save your money and invest it wisely.
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  • Profile picture of the author J23
    I personally am not impressed by this at all.

    I definitely don't think that "anyone given 250k can succeed" but you have to realize that without the grant his dad gave him, none of this could have happened. He couldn't have afforded to buy the $40k domain name, he couldn't have afforded to hire the designers and programmers for his site, or the marketing, and so on.

    The big thing here is the domain name. Without the name Fundraise.com, the site wouldn't be nearly as successful as it is. And guess what? He wouldn't have been able to even buy that domain name had his dad not given him the 250k.

    Is it a good idea? Sure it is. But it's nothing impressive in my opinion due to the fact that he was handed everything. It's also something that has been done before so it ain't like he's the first one to have thought of it.

    Now if the kid started from nothing, worked his ass off to build up 40k of his own money, then bought the domain name Fundraise.com and started this business, I would have nothing but respect and good things to say about the situation. That's not the way it turned out though, so no I am not impressed.

    And I'm not tryin to be a hater at all, I just think that kids given a huge headstart financially from their parents don't deserve as much respect as the kids that start from nothing and become successful.

    Just about everything I own or have owned in my life, (since I've been old enough to make my own money) I have paid for myself. I wasn't handed anything as a kid so it feels much more rewarding to me when I accomplish something on my own because I know I worked my ass off to get it.
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    • Profile picture of the author gefflong
      Originally Posted by J23 View Post

      Is it a good idea? Sure it is. But it's nothing impressive in my opinion due to the fact that he was handed everything. It's also something that has been done before so it ain't like he's the first one to have thought of it.

      Now if the kid started from nothing, worked his ass off to build up 40k of his own money, then bought the domain name Fundraise.com and started this business, I would have nothing but respect and good things to say about the situation. That's not the way it turned out though, so no I am not impressed.

      And I'm not tryin to be a hater at all, I just think that kids given a huge headstart financially from their parents don't deserve as much respect as the kids that start from nothing and become successful.

      Just about everything I own or have owned in my life, (since I've been old enough to make my own money) I have paid for myself. I wasn't handed anything as a kid so it feels much more rewarding to me when I accomplish something on my own because I know I worked my ass off to get it.
      I wish this type of thinking wasn't so prevalent, but it is. I have to 100% disagree with you on this.

      Saying that kids born into money don't deserve as much respect is just utter horse dung.

      Just because the kid had some money to start doesn't make his accomplishment any less. He still had the idea, implemented it, and no doubt worked his ass off to make it a reality.

      So what that he had financial backing, or that the idea isn't new. That idea isn't going to turn itself into a million dollar company.

      I understand the sentiment behind your post... however, it gets tiresome to hear people who started with nothing feel like they are superior because of that fact.

      I'm not pointing that at you personally... but the resentment that the general statement "kids given a huge headstart financially from their parents don't deserve as much respect as the kids that start from nothing and become successful" isn't well placed.

      Bottom line...

      It does not matter if the kid has money or he doesn't. Kids from both ends of the spectrum deserve the same amount of respect for having an idea, doing the work, and making something a success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    Inspiring...

    It shows that courage is key to be successful.

    Thanks for sharing this and the website..

    Will check it out next time i do a fund raising.

    Cheers,

    ~Gary
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    • Profile picture of the author Agz21
      Originally Posted by garytsang View Post

      Inspiring...

      It shows that courage is key to be successful.

      Thanks for sharing this and the website..

      Will check it out next time i do a fund raising.

      Cheers,

      ~Gary
      It's pretty inspiring...but to me right now it looks like a huge publicity stunt being pulled off

      Could be wrong as well...o well
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Walker
    There is a thread in some other section about, "money brings money" i am sure the OP of the thread is correct.
    And yes good of him, it doesn't motivate me much however it really is a great idea he came up with.
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  • Profile picture of the author SwiftBlog
    After having read the article, it's complete BS. It's a publicity stunt that someone obviously paid to have promoted. It says he is expecting venture capital to the tune of 1.2million, far from him "having made 1.2 million". It also states that he expects revenue to be 2million by the end of 2011. Just to clarify, revenue does not mean profit and I'm sure a stunt like this would use exaggerated figures of net revenue. Let's say he does make 7.5% of the 2million(exaggerated) . He's made 150k in the first year and he's still down 100k from his initial investment. Once the glitz and glare of this semi interesting startup runs dry, so will the fundraises/investors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Agz21
    Now this gets me into thinking, how hard can it be in replicating this...I mean it's not any new idea...so it wouldn't take that long...

    maybe with some $50...what u guys think?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mixengineer
    You know whats funny? Im 19 and had that same idea last year but i didnt even know about this place. Should have taken action when i could have!
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    • Profile picture of the author Agz21
      Originally Posted by Mixengineer View Post

      You know whats funny? Im 19 and had that same idea last year but i didnt even know about this place. Should have taken action when i could have!

      lol haha I am damn sure man there are people like us here who could've done it with very much less capital...

      Good luck in the future bro
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  • Profile picture of the author Apollo-Articles
    Good for him, it takes risk to start up in such an already saturated niche.

    He succeeded by using other peoples skills, and excellent strategy.

    Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Fridsjö
    Can't understand all the hatin in this thread, it's a great accomplishment regardless of the money.

    99,9% of people who could start with 250k wouldnt be close to those results.
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    • Profile picture of the author vok
      Bet big win big, any idiot can buy a domain and some hosting and peddle affiliate links on a WP blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author ceungblut
    Great story. This guy took a real risk investing so much in a domain name but clearly it worked and it's more than simply paid the bills - its presumably made the world a better place! Also nice to see a young entrepreneur getting rich from a website that is ultimately for a good cause, even though it is skimmed from the funds which are raised!
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
    It always worries me on forums like this where people are supposedly running a "business" and can't even read an article properly, nor understand basic business concepts. There's a big difference between "raising funding" and "revenue" and there's a big difference between "projected" and "actual".

    At no point has he "made money". He's just raised some funding. That doesn't mean he's quadrupled his cash... lol.

    The idea isn't even proven yet. All he has is projected revenues.

    The only thing I've learned from this article is that it's not what you know... it's who you know!
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      the competition at the very top is actually less than for those trying to make a few pennies.

      when you go all in and create a best of breed type of product or service, you can usually count your true number of competitors on one hand.

      but if your just going to play around with internet marketing and try to make say $2000 a month there are literally tens of thousands (if not more) of others to compete with.

      there are lots of other reasons it often easier to succeed with big projects than little ones.

      however, this guy did have way more help than most will ever have, but i would venture to say that if everyone on this forum were given the same $250k startup, most would not succeed. most would fail miserably and be broke in less than 3 years.

      it happens all the time to lottery winners. most end up broke in a few years and worse off than they were before they got the money.

      This guy had a great vision, saw a great need, and was able to create something that filled that void. (with some help)

      i say great job, and the world is likely a better place because of his site and the charities it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Turner
    Simple stories like this make it appaer easy - get an idea , buy a site , earn dollars!
    Truth is to get a site like that to work well takes vision, good management and intelligent promotion - oh.... and a fair bit of effort
    good luck to the lad! - He deserves(worked) for it!
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  • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
    I'm not inspired by this at all. To me it's business as usual. Let's not forget that his father probably has formal and informal business connections. So he got his dad's money, his dad's connections, and didn't spend the money on hot cars and booze. Good for him!

    I think most non-idiots could manage to make SOME return on that 250K, even if they just put it in a savings account.

    The idea isn't even a new idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author seamusb
    I have quite strong opinions on this.

    So, my controversial opinion (and note only MY opinion, there are others!)

    I have no resentment or chip on my shoulder - I am sure he is a great guy and his dad is a great guy. I am just speaking from my own experience of running a business in the trenches with nobody rich to turn to bail me out when I **** up.

    Am I bitter? Nah, just not easily impressed. Getting money from Daddy is not a transferable or learnable skill.


    There are two skill sets involved here...
    • Creating a business (entrepreneur)
    • Running a business (managerial)

    From an entrepreneurial perspective, you have practically nothing to learn from this person. He is irrelevant, a distraction, a blip in the statistics of creating a business. He has a rich father and the father gave him some money. Big deal.

    If I had a rich father, he would do the same. It is not impressive or something I can learn from. He is just a member of the lucky sperm club. Most people struggle to even get a loan from the bank to start a business. This 19 year old is a statistical anomaly.

    From an managerial perspective, there might be something to learn. He got his money very easily but what is he doing with it? Great domain, good exposure for a strong idea. Looks good. I could possibly learn something about how he has executed his business once he got the funding. Give him five years and see if the business is still running.

    Early on in my business, I sweated just to pay the rent. I nearly puked when I looked at my cashflow at the end of the quarter. But I survived.

    After being through this I believe I am a better entrepreneur. This 19 year old did not have to go through the baptism of fire (and it is fire!) to set up his business. I believe I am probably a better entrepreneur than him because of it.

    So does he motivate me? No. Does he impress me? Maybe. Managing a business can be hard, let's see how he does.


    Originally Posted by Agz21 View Post

    A 19 year, Nate Drouin, from Boston started an online fundraising site in January, 2011. His father, loaned him $250,000 for start-up, and he bought the fundraise.com domain for $40,000 from somebody...

    The company has already earned ~$1.2 million, and expects to be well over $2million in revenue by the end of 2011. He says the site serves as a place where anyone can start their own charity or fundraiser, and anyone can donate. The company takes 7.5% of all donations (that's where revenue comes from).

    It says in the below article that the donation industry is $25 billion

    the article: 19-Year-Old CEO Nate Drouin Raises $1.2 Million For Boston Startup Fundraise.com « CBS Boston

    His website : https://www.fundraise.com

    so what do you think? Is it fair that he got help? does it motivate you?
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    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      I respect your opinion, seamusb, and I believe you articulated it well. Having a controversial opinion isn't bad--in fact, I think it's necessary--but, it's all about the tact and professionalism in conveying that opinion.

      Admittedly, I've never had access to THAT sum of money, whether gained from my father or some other means. I do think, like you seem to touch on, that his experience thus far doesn't seem to convey a "process" that alot of us can learn from. Receiving money from father, I'm sure, inherently removes alot of the trials and tribulations--the things that I'd personally love to learn from--that others have/are experiencing. I'm not jealousy, but I also don't think there's very much to learn from.

      I will be interested to see where he takes his vision, and how much he is able to multiply his investment.

      I've never personally be involved in the development of a project of that scale. Is $250,000 about the norm for what it costs to get something like that off the ground? That just seems like an aweful lot...I'm sure there are alot of variables at play.

      Originally Posted by seamusb View Post

      I have quite strong opinions on this.

      So, my controversial opinion (and note only MY opinion, there are others!)

      I have no resentment or chip on my shoulder - I am sure he is a great guy and his dad is a great guy. I am just speaking from my own experience of running a business in the trenches with nobody rich to turn to bail me out when I **** up.

      Am I bitter? Nah, just not easily impressed. Getting money from Daddy is not a transferable or learnable skill.


      There are two skill sets involved here...
      • Creating a business (entrepreneur)
      • Running a business (managerial)

      From an entrepreneurial perspective, you have practically nothing to learn from this person. He is irrelevant, a distraction, a blip in the statistics of creating a business. He has a rich father and the father gave him some money. Big deal.

      If I had a rich father, he would do the same. It is not impressive or something I can learn from. He is just a member of the lucky sperm club. Most people struggle to even get a loan from the bank to start a business. This 19 year old is a statistical anomaly.

      From an managerial perspective, there might be something to learn. He got his money very easily but what is he doing with it? Great domain, good exposure for a strong idea. Looks good. I could possibly learn something about how he has executed his business once he got the funding. Give him five years and see if the business is still running.

      Early on in my business, I sweated just to pay the rent. I nearly puked when I looked at my cashflow at the end of the quarter. But I survived.

      After being through this I believe I am a better entrepreneur. This 19 year old did not have to go through the baptism of fire (and it is fire!) to set up his business. I believe I am probably a better entrepreneur than him because of it.

      So does he motivate me? No. Does he impress me? Maybe. Managing a business can be hard, let's see how he does.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi,

      The only reason we are discussing this is because someone, somewhere (father's connections or payment?) got it into the mainstream press.

      If you know anything about mainstream press, you'll probably avoid parroting the spurious information that they print.

      The fact that this person has that level of connections should make you aware that if you try and learn lessons from this in order to perhaps emulate it, the findings you make will be skewed and in all likelihood, there will be parts of the process that you simply cannot emulate (EG running back to father for a cash injection to stop the thing going bump.)

      Much better to see mainstream media for exactly what it is (utter BS) and generally avoid it, avoid parroting it and instead spend the time using your IMer skills to use Google and other tools to find businesses that you can emulate and reverse engineer them, look for lessons, do your own tests and keep it all to yourself or your inner circle.
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  • Profile picture of the author amritrr
    I am surprised they make so much. Their website's Google PR is only 2 and Alexa Rank is approx 891,000 which means, not many visitors to their site.

    Though the idea is good.
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  • Profile picture of the author AsadMoeen
    This is truly awesome.

    I can imagine how the idea came up and he truly did it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goldenboy
    I don't see any reason why it's "unfair". I have the same concept as fellow warrior redicelander here stated that what is "unfair" to that? I mean, he has a father that offers him the amount of $250,000 for him to use in his investment. His father just gave him the amount and it was the kid who conceptualizes and planned on what to do with the money. It is fair, since his father provided the opportunity for him to earn, and he did the action that is for him, a necessary move to invest.
    It's just that he has a father that can provide him that amount, doesn't necessary mean it is unfair that he earned that kind of amount. It's like if you are given $250,000, would you do the same to invest your money? Or probably you will just spend that money on purchasing things like iphones, computers or just wanted to have a shopping spree with all that money. For him, he decided to use that money to invest. That is fair enough, since he chooses to use the money for his investment.
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  • Profile picture of the author richgrad
    I read the article... the company didn't "already earned 1.2 million"... It's getting 1.2 million in funding...

    And 7.5% of $2 million projected revenue = gross projected profits of only $150,000

    Given that he used $250k to start the company and another 1.2 million to fund the company... a $150k gross profit isn't the best ROI...

    Got to applaud his entrepreneurial spirit though =)
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    It's interesting that on a forum supposedly filled with entrepreneurs there is distinct overtone of distain for what this kid was able to accomplish. Is it fair that he got help? What kind of question is that?

    It's not unique... Guess what, there aren't all that many brand new ideas out there. Almost everything we see these days, with few exceptions has already been done. Making old models fresh by adding a new twist is where it's at.

    There are plenty more pissy "sour grapes" comments I won't mention cause I think I need to go puke. Some of y'all need to go find jobs.
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    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      I don't, personally, have disdain for the guy. It is just what it is. I do feel like there is a bit of a "disconnect" in experience, however, because, like you said, it does at least appear like many people in IM start with next to nothing. To me, the story would be more interesting--and, something I could learn from--if he had secured the funds in a different manner than just pitching an idea to Dad. Only he knows the skills and capabilities of his son.

      Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

      What did you expect? Most people who do internet marketing start with nothing. That's what makes IM so attractive in the first place.

      Then we hear of someone who was gifted 250k by his Daddy. Of course there's going to be disdain.

      I know a business owner who is raking it in. He spends half the year by the beach. He has a cut-throat right hand man who monitors the business and only visits once per week himself.

      Yet everyone (even he admits) knows that he wouldn't have been able to buy the business without his parent's money.

      I'll always have more respect for someone who gets rich from nothing than someone who gets rich using a gift or loan from Daddy. No doubt about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author DesignFan
    I was looking at the compete.com data, it it shows that his site hasn't generated more than 600 hits per month between 8/2010 and 5/2011. It sounds like press release hype to me. I do hope the kid succeeds. To talk ANYONE into investing 250k on you is a big accomplishment. He obviously had the trust of his father and the fact that he was motivated enough to try something ambitious is admirable. And boy did he go big
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  • Profile picture of the author xnice
    The great ideas, that why he makes money. He do the thing people never do and discover gold mine. This is the same game with Google Adsense sharing revenue site, but it will be have more potential.
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  • Profile picture of the author dillipbytes
    Did he cheat anyone? Then why the question about fairness comes ? One thing I found that many remark about his father's initial help ? But the most important thing everyone missed. It was his unique idea and bold initiative that materialised his dream site. Guys, $250k is not a small budget for a 19 years old to invest in any venture. It requires daredevil attitude & he had . So is the result. We must remember that capital is a secondary requirement for any business, what matter most is the attitude and dare to dream. Yes he motivates me a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimseo
    I want ask him if he is interested to buy my domain in 40k as well
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I think this young man is AWESOME!

    I suspect the 250k was not only used for the purchase of the domain but also for the programming required for the platform, probably some expenses to abide by some regulatory requirements that none of us know about, and to float the money from donations so they get paid to the charities more expeditiously.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesGw
    The 250k definitely made the difference here. I don't care what anyone says. Capital is important when starting a business, whether online or not. Can you do it without capital? Sure. It definitely makes it easier when you have money, though.

    He very likely would not have been as successful without the 250k. Good or him, though.
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  • Profile picture of the author P.Sharma
    his father gave him $250,000 and he made it work. He had a vision and knew what he was doing IMHO. All the success to him
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I always find it interesting when you hear in the media about some young kid making it big.

    It's become a bit of a cliche, and usually the story follows a similiar pattern ...."overnight success", "only 15 years old", "truly gifted", "the next Branson"

    What most fail to recognise is the guidance, support and often financial backing that parents often provide.

    Even if it has nothing to do with money, its about being supportive and instilling the right MINDSET.

    I bet this kids parents weren't telling him to "get good grades and get a job."
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  • Profile picture of the author Shafiq Kamal
    He was able to see the future...............
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    I think what stands out to me is the failure of those Warriors, who if they read the article in it's entirety, failed to understand what they read. Or perhaps just scrolled through it and threw together their comments in this thread. The lesson from that is we see what we want to see and understand what we want to understand.

    Just imagine what we could do if we could grasp what we have learned and then put it to work for us along with the funding.

    One thing that stood out to me was the mention of his support for a certain political party and hoped he would be able to help this party in their fund raising during the 2012 election. Sounds to me like a lot of his idea is to capitalize off the future.

    So perhaps he is a entrepreneur and with his Dad's, venture capital, contacts and business expertise he is going for more venture capital to kick it into high gear. And face it if you had access to the money you more than likely would take advantage of it too. Then there would be no question if it's fair or not.

    Everyone of us would love to have our product/service to go viral and this kid is doing it through publicity/CBS morning news. And I'm with the other guys that have said the lesson is in the marketing.

    Ken

    The Old Geezer
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  • Lol, it's also nice that 'daddy' gave him $250k to get going.

    Wow, not necessarily too much business sense either... According to the article, he feels he got "lucky" because he "only" paid $40,000 (not $40, $400 or even $4,000) -- but paid forty THOUSAND for a domain from a domain squatter? Yeah..... thats nice.

    Sounds like his daddy gave him some good media connections. It's nice it seems he may be doing well -- but it isn't the same as someone starting with $100 in their pocket and going from there...
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  • Profile picture of the author derricks4
    A bit disappointed in this thread. The title made me think he had done it through IM and without a huge investment. Darn.
    But good for him, anyhow.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
    Wow... I can't believe I'm seeing all these warriors trying to justify why this kid was successful. I think it's downright pathetic. Yes, I said it. Pathetic.

    It's very obvious to me that half the people here, unless they make a serious attitude change, aren't going to see any level of success as this kid has had at such an early age, let alone make even 1/20th of what this kid has done already.

    Who cares that he got 250k from his father for start up capital. That money is not even 5% of what it takes to make a website of that caliber successful.

    If any of you here think that all you need to do is spend 250k on a website and it'll be successful, you've got a long LONG way to come.

    What if you blow that $250k on traffic and you don't have the right mechanisms in place to regenerate and re-engage your member base?

    Who do you get to program it? Where do you find them? You don't just go on elance and post a job for a project like this.

    How do you find the people who want to start a fundraiser?

    How do you find the people who want to donate to the fundraiser?

    How do you make people trust your brand to send you the money in the first place?

    How do you set up your merchant accounts properly to handle this type of business?

    How do you handle paying out the funds? What about accounting and taxes for such transactions?

    How do you handle chargebacks? How do you keep track of all the money - in a database?

    What if the database corrupts, what are your fail safes? How do you handle support?

    How do you handle credit card information? Which employees do you trust/not trust with it?

    Where do you take the site a year from now, 2 years from now, 3 years from now?

    Out of the 7.5%, how much goes to credit card processing fees, how much goes to expense, and how much is left over for profit?

    Can you sustain your business as it expands and becomes more cumbersome?

    Where are all the warrior comments about those challenges, or do most of you here think all you need is 250k and all that will be solved for you?

    The fact that this guys site didn't die out 2 months after he spent his 250k speaks volume.
    I highly doubt that a lot of the haters here have even an ounce of what it takes to do what he was able to do.
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    • Hi Daniel,

      I don't think people are objecting to him being "successful", I think they are objecting to the media article that "says" he's successful and the spin that's put on it, when in reality he actually has not done really anything yet.

      1. His website, WITH $250k, is still a virtual blip on the internet radar. No significant traffic.

      2. He is not showing too much business sense paying 40k for a domain. (IF it had significant traffic, i.e., like 10 years ago the word 'company.com' might because they were just 'guessing', and you could convert it into traffic, then that would be one thing. It doesn't and it didn't. IF it had thousands of links pointing to it from a previous owner, then that would make sense. It doesn't. IF it had some significant pre-existing brand value, or eliminating confusion, "ezdomains" vs "easydomains", etc, then maybe, but it doesn't). That was a poor business decision. But since he had 250k to throw around, I guess felt it was a bargain. (The guy he bought it from was probably laughing is way to the bank).

      3. While it is really good that his dad had some connections, that got him the initial 200k for a charity, at the moment it is a lot of what-if's and maybe's. Maybe he will get some funding. Maybe he will appeal to a lot of charities (in an pre-existing very competitive environment).

      Bottom line -- yes, of course it is really cool that he is taking action and doing something. A lot of people don't even do that.

      But it is not really a shining example of a guy pulling himself up by the boostraps and making a name for himself, which I believe the article title led a lot of people to believe. This article is about a father who has the right connections, and the funding to back his son, for an idea he wishes to pursue. The son hasn't "yet" made it, but at least apparently can talk the talk from what he's written. And media is important and good for that to get a good foothold, and he is in the right direction for getting the exposure he needs to make it a success.

      But I think for this crowd, when he actually "does" it instead of just talking about it, that's when it will be really cool. Just talking about something - whoopadeedoo. But doing it, that is something entirely different.

      PPS - the title of this post is also incorrect. According to the article -- he is "seeking" 1.2 million in venture capital funding, he hasn't actually "earned" it yet. And "expecting" revenue -- well, that's whatever you want it to be.




      Originally Posted by Daniel Brock View Post

      Wow... I can't believe I'm seeing all these warriors trying to justify why this kid was successful. I think it's downright pathetic. Yes, I said it. Pathetic.

      It's very obvious to me that half the people here, unless they make a serious attitude change, aren't going to see any level of success as this kid has had at such an early age, let alone make even 1/20th of what this kid has done already.

      Who cares that he got 250k from his father for start up capital. That money is not even 5% of what it takes to make a website of that caliber successful.

      If any of you here think that all you need to do is spend 250k on a website and it'll be successful, you've got a long LONG way to come.

      What if you blow that $250k on traffic and you don't have the right mechanisms in place to regenerate and re-engage your member base?

      Who do you get to program it? Where do you find them? You don't just go on elance and post a job for a project like this.

      How do you find the people who want to start a fundraiser?

      How do you find the people who want to donate to the fundraiser?

      How do you make people trust your brand to send you the money in the first place?

      How do you set up your merchant accounts properly to handle this type of business?

      How do you handle paying out the funds? What about accounting and taxes for such transactions?

      How do you handle chargebacks? How do you keep track of all the money - in a database?

      What if the database corrupts, what are your fail safes? How do you handle support?

      How do you handle credit card information? Which employees do you trust/not trust with it?

      Where do you take the site a year from now, 2 years from now, 3 years from now?

      Out of the 7.5%, how much goes to credit card processing fees, how much goes to expense, and how much is left over for profit?

      Can you sustain your business as it expands and becomes more cumbersome?

      Where are all the warrior comments about those challenges, or do most of you here think all you need is 250k and all that will be solved for you?

      The fact that this guys site didn't die out 2 months after he spent his 250k speaks volume.
      I highly doubt that a lot of the haters here have even an ounce of what it takes to do what he was able to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author enterpryzman
    some of you crack me up....especially the ones about his daddy lending him money, that has nothing to do with making it less-good.

    I am sorry you have not been able to obtain such funds but, even having the funds does not mean you will succeed.

    I know many my age that had been born with a silver spoon, meaning very fortunate to have family money to rely on. Dome are dead from crazy accidents, drugs, suicide, ect...many are totally dependent on the family money and have never been able to accomplish anything at all.

    Good for this young man, no matter how he obtained his start up capital. If he can make it happen, he is better than most here will ever be. As I stated above, I think his contacts have been far more valuable than his start up money, WAY more important.

    Enterpryzman
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    • Profile picture of the author bobbobson
      Originally Posted by enterpryzman View Post

      some of you crack me up....especially the ones about his daddy lending him money, that has nothing to do with making it less-good.

      I am sorry you have not been able to obtain such funds but, even having the funds does not mean you will succeed.

      I know many my age that had been born with a silver spoon, meaning very fortunate to have family money to rely on. Dome are dead from crazy accidents, drugs, suicide, ect...many are totally dependent on the family money and have never been able to accomplish anything at all.

      Good for this young man, no matter how he obtained his start up capital. If he can make it happen, he is better than most here will ever be. As I stated above, I think his contacts have been far more valuable than his start up money, WAY more important.

      Enterpryzman

      Totally agree with you. Time spent knocking the way other people work is time that could have been spent improving your own business!
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  • Profile picture of the author wickedinnovation
    I think this is unfair. The company must not be after his name. It must be after his father. HAHA. Well, having that lot of capita will surely help your company. I will not be surprised if he could earn billions of dollars in the near future.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    There are so many idiotic lolz in this topic, I don't even know where to begin.

    There are a bunch of people who frequent this forum that are better suited to becoming a greeter in Wal-Mart than pretending that they will ever achieve success as a business owner.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmfitz
    it is certainly not UNFAIR this fella got help, it is what you do with the help you get or do not that counts. The point about this venue that he is operating getting 7.5% of the take is not unfair whatsoever. i am basing that on the fact all the big companies that advertise their non-profit status that have million dollar annual salaries for the CEO are only required by law to give 10% of the monies received. i was in new orleans a year after Katrina and they took in billions, and it seemed none of it made it to the city and its repair needs. Americans might have bigger hearts than brains? Dr. Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author seamusb
      There are quite a few people in this thread who seem to think we should be automatically impressed when a young man sets up a business with his father's dosh. Er, no.

      If you look at my earlier reply...

      Originally Posted by seamusb View Post

      So does he motivate me? No. Does he impress me? Maybe. Managing a business can be hard, let's see how he does.
      I tried hard to discriminate between the things I am motivated and impressed by and what is indifferent to me.
      • Indifferent to me: a young guy getting money off his dad to set up a website.
      • Interesting to me: a young guy running said website.

      So, like many people here - I have absolutely no vitriol towards this guy. I am completely indifferent. His world is a complete contrast to mine. However, I watch with interest as he runs his business. I might be able to learn something from that. But I don't have to care how he funded it.

      It is the difference between watching an athlete and being interested in how they perform. I do not have to care that they went to the most expensive athletic performance college to enjoy the spectacle.

      Just saying. Discriminate and analyze before judging
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  • Profile picture of the author DK7667
    Sounds like a typical example of what $250k start up money can do for almost ANYONE with half a brain. I say good luck to him although obviously he has PURELY his Dad to thank... A million times over!
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    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      Originally Posted by DK7667 View Post

      Sounds like a typical example of what $250k start up money can do for almost ANYONE with half a brain. I say good luck to him although obviously he has PURELY his Dad to thank... A million times over!
      Dad gave the capital injection, but it "sounds" like everything else is on him to figure out. Hopefully he does well, and can make it work.
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      • Profile picture of the author DK7667
        Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

        Dad gave the capital injection, but it "sounds" like everything else is on him to figure out. Hopefully he does well, and can make it work.
        Well either Dad gave him $250k and said figure everything else out yourself ? Or Dad was also the brains behind his $250k investment?

        Either way without Dads capital injection, there would be no $1.2 million earnings to talk about. So Well Done... Cheers Dad! I couldn't of done it without you!
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve Lim
          He has a great mindset, a lot of people in this age are thinking what to study or what to play but he have a good vision to start the business, and I believe his father inspire him a lot!
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    • Profile picture of the author josoave
      Originally Posted by DK7667 View Post

      Sounds like a typical example of what $250k start up money can do for almost ANYONE with half a brain. I say good luck to him although obviously he has PURELY his Dad to thank... A million times over!
      Agreeing to disagree... Like many posters said before: the funding doesn't make or break his business. Did it help? Of course, it's one less thing he had to worry about. That is just a detail. He could have raised funding in so many other ways.
      The big picture is that he had VISION and followed through with his plan. There are so many other facets to running a business than funding! and TALENT is what made him successful. Just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Truxx
    If his dad had $250k to help his son start a business then it's pretty likely they are a very well off family. Their perception of $250k is probably different then most other people's. You really shouldn't be impressed just because the numbers are big. If I can take $1 and make $4 or take $100 and make $400 then you should be equally impressed.... Maybe even more so. It takes more creativity to take a smaller amount of money and turn it into more. You don't have as many options for turning $1 into $4 as you do turning $250k into $1.2mm.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aclizzy
      Originally Posted by Truxx View Post

      If his dad had $250k to help his son start a business then it's pretty likely they are a very well off family. Their perception of $250k is probably different then most other people's. You really shouldn't be impressed just because the numbers are big. If I can take $1 and make $4 or take $100 and make $400 then you should be equally impressed.... Maybe even more so. It takes more creativity to take a smaller amount of money and turn it into more. You don't have as many options for turning $1 into $4 as you do turning $250k into $1.2mm.
      I disagree! Remembering that he is only 19 and being given such a sum of money requires one to be extremely careful about how exactly to invest the money. He was able to make the right choices in order to make a profit.
      how come Richest man in the world can't quadruple his income to 200 billion? In addition, I would actually say it is a lot easier turning $1 to $4 as your likely to make less mistakes along the way.
      I believe the numbers are impressive as its such a huge amount to play with at such a young age irrespective of how or where he received the money from. It's not unknown to watch lottery winners waste their fortunes. I comprehend what your saying from your perspective but it comes across as if your hating.
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      • Profile picture of the author DK7667
        Originally Posted by Aclizzy View Post

        I disagree. Remembering he is only 19 and being given such a sum money requires one to be extremely careful about how exactly to invest the money. He was able to make the right choices in order to make a profit.
        how come Richest man in the world cant quadruple his income to 200 billion? In addition, I would actually say it is a lot easier turning $1 to $4 as your likely to make less mistakes along the way.
        Stop hating!
        He is not hating, he is giving his view on the subject.

        At the end of the day Money Makes Money, and the more you have to start with the better.

        That (in simple short terms) is what he means.
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      • Profile picture of the author Truxx
        Originally Posted by Aclizzy View Post

        I disagree. Remembering he is only 19 and being given such a sum money requires one to be extremely careful about how exactly to invest the money. He was able to make the right choices in order to make a profit.
        how come Richest man in the world cant quadruple his income to 200 billion? In addition, I would actually say it is a lot easier turning $1 to $4 as your likely to make less mistakes along the way.
        Stop hating!
        Who's hating?!?! I think what this kid did was great!! He took an opportunity to implement his dreams. He had a parent that had the resources and faith in his kid to help him with his dreams.

        All I'm saying is don't get all starry eyed just because the numbers are big. When you boil everything down, it takes the same creativity, will power, persistence and courage to turn a small amount into a bigger amount. That or some dumb luck in Vegas :p
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        • Profile picture of the author DK7667
          Originally Posted by Truxx View Post

          Who's hating?!?! I think what this kid did was great!! He took an opportunity to implement his dreams. He had a parent that had the resources and faith in his kid to help him with his dreams.

          All I'm saying is don't get all starry eyed just because the numbers are big. When you boil everything down, it takes the same creativity, will power, persistence and courage to turn a small amount into a bigger amount. That or some dumb luck in Vegas :p
          Well said my friend!
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  • Profile picture of the author lironf20
    good job for that kid
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  • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
    $40,000 wow.

    He could have bought 20 guru courses for that and still had $60 dollars in change.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    He definitely motivates me as this is a class act from his part and he is smart as hell, so great accomplishment for a 19 y.o
    Signature

    Blogger at RicherOrNot.com (Make Money online blog but also promoting ethical internet marketing)

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  • Profile picture of the author mostafa999
    Very motivating
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Groom
    No doubt he's done well and fair play!!

    My only doubt or perhaps criticism is that the the guy is making money from charity! In my view slightly un-ethical, shouldn't really be making that sort of money from 'fundraising'. who's missing out when he makes such big profits??
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  • Profile picture of the author esilef
    how did you do that? who knows - this might be the breakthrough I've always wanted!
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