Have you ever seen a young person nose-deep into a screen and thought they should do more with their life?
Maybe they are.
There are plenty of examples nowadays of under-18s who have amassed a heck of a fortune through the use of a computer. Not to mention keen entrepreneurial skills.
Here are some of the world’s wealthiest young people, and how they got their riches.
Imagine teaching yourself to code between the ages of 12 and 15, then creating an app that becomes so popular, a major corporation buys it off you and hires you to continue working for them. You are imagining the life of Australian-born British young person Nick D’Aloisio.
In 2011, D’Aloisio managed to pull investment from sources such as Hong Kong’s Li Ka Shing to create a prototype version of Summly – a news app that reads news for you and summarises it for your phone.
According to Summly’s website, this prototype received over 200,000 downloads and gained widespread attention. Some of this attention was from Yahoo, who believed summarisation technology was the future of their news feed. They purchased the start-up company for the sum of US$30 million.
Nick D’Aloisio was 17 years old.
A list about young millionaires would not be complete without mentioning this pop star. Though he is now 21, his gained his millions when he was still a teenager, and had a feature-length documentary about him by the age of 17.
Bieber’s career started on YouTube, when his mother in Ontario, Canada, would post videos of him singing popular songs by famous stars. He gained worldwide attention, and his video views roared into the millions. In fact, one of his earliest works – singing With You, by Chris Brown – has over 48 million hits on YouTube.
The child-sensation flew to Atlanta to meet with managers and record companies, signing a deal with Usher. When his first single was released in 2009 (Bieber aged 15), it went platinum in Canada. His debut album followed suit, featuring in the Billboard Top 10 in 2010.
These days his net worth is US$80 million, according to Forbes.
If you’ve ever heard of ‘girls only’ social media site Miss O and Friends, you already know of Juliette Brindak’s work.
When she was just 16, Brindak took characters and concepts she had designed when she was 10 years old and launched the social media platform with the support of her family in 2005. It quickly became a haven for girls across the globe, where they could talk and share within the safety of their own group. It grew from five Flash-animated characters (where the name comes from) on the homepage to including games, quizzes, message boards, music and more.
She has even published a book: Miss O & Friends: Write On! The Miss O & Friends Collection of Rockin’ Fiction. This is a compilation of user-submitted stories, helping young female authors get their first published credit.
These days it gets upwards of 10 million hits a month, and is worth around US$15 million.
It seems age is no excuse to not try and succeed. You don’t have to have wealthy families, a trust fund or a big credit card to start with, these young entrepreneurs have built what they have from the ground up.
You could help your child achieve wealth of their own by teaching them valuable life lessons from a young age, and supporting them with their business endeavours.
What would you have done with millions of dollars when you were a teenager?