From the category archives:

Interviews

Joe Penna grew up on a little-trafficked street in São Paulo, Brazil. When his mother needed help getting more customers to come to her yard sale, Joe used the family computer to design signs that he then posted around town. It was his first taste of business.

When Joe was 12, his family moved to the United States. Joe attended the University of Massachusetts to become a cardiothoracic surgeon, but he eventually dropped out to follow his passion for video.

After bouncing around working on local commercials and music videos in Boston, Joe decided to pack his bags for Los Angeles to start making YouTube videos full-time. His channel, called Mystery Guitar Man, features a new video every Tuesday and Thursday, usually combining Joe’s love for music with unconventional video editing and black sunglasses.

Since getting started in June 2006, Mystery Guitar Man has amassed almost over 1.4 million subscribers and over 76 million over 150 million total views – making it the 13th 6th most subscribed channel on YouTube.

Watch Joe’s award-winning videos and his interview…

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Adora started writing when she was four years old. She hasn’t stopped since. At six, Adora received a laptop computer from her mother, on which she quickly amassed a collection of hundreds of short stories and hundreds of thousands of words – typing at 70 words per minute.

At the age of seven, Adora achieved her dream of becoming a published author with the release of Flying Fingers: Master the Tools of Learning Through the Joy of Writing. The book featured several of Adora’s short stories, along with her writing tips, typing tips, and advice from her mother. At age 11, Adora published a second book, Dancing Fingers, with her older sister, Adrianna.

Today, Adora is 12 and she has transformed her writing success into speaking and teaching success. She has spoken at over 400 schools and presented at the annual TED conference. She’s also planning a conference of her own, for kids and by kids, called TEDx Redmond. She has been featured on Good Morning America and on CNN. Adora also maintains a blog and attends an online public school. She is in the eighth grade.

Read the rest of Adora’s interview and see her TED Talk…

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When Catherine Cook and her brother, David, were growing up in New Jersey, they used to set up little libraries in their house and rent out books to their parents for a small charge. By the time they were in high school, they had launched the social networking site myYearbook.com with a $250,000 investment from their older brother Geoff.

Today, Catherine is a 20-year-old junior at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and myYearbook.com has over 20 million members. Between studying marketing, operations and information management, and psychology, Catherine finds time to take the train up to myYearbook’s HQ in Pennsylvania a few times a month.

There, eighty employees are working hard to make myYearbook the premier way to meet new people online through ice-breaking games and features. It’s working: myYearbook is ranked in the top 25 most trafficked websites in the United States according to comScore and it pulls in 20 million dollars in yearly revenue.

Read the rest of Catherine’s interview

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Marshall Haas got his start selling Pokémon cards on the street corner with his friends. But by the time he was 17, Marshall had moved on to architecture. He got a job working for a high-end architect in the Dallas area and began taking classes at a local community college.

Marshall noticed that many architecture firms weren’t offering images, or renderings, to their clients. He decided to fill the void by starting his own company, AllRendered, LLC. Marshall recruited a team of 20 artists in the Philippines to create architectural images from floor plans and he began attracting as many as eight clients a month.

Today, Marshall is 20 years old and still working to build AllRendered into a premier rendering service, while pursuing a degree in computer science. He is also in the process of developing a mobile web application called Podums, which will use game mechanics to encourage people to be productive. Whenever he finds the time, Marshall gets his thrills by riding his motorcycles.

Keep Reading. Marshall’s work was on a billboard…

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