Now and again, you come across people who just ‘get it’. You know, the kind of people that leave you speechless with their words of wisdom and give you a instantaneous boost of inspiration.
That happened to me last week at the latest Stockholm Tech meetup. His name was Lukas Sveilis, and he’s 12 years old (yep, 12!).
Where I met Lukas
I first came across Lukas because like many people at the event I found a flyer on my chair advertising an indiegogo campaign. The flyer had a QR code on it, some information about the project, and a little cartoon style picture of a kid wearing funky glasses. I stuck the flyer in my pocket, but then later at the ‘mingle’ afterwards spotted the same kid wearing the same funky glasses. Not only had he apparently thought through his own personal brand in a rather genuis way, he appeared to be going from table to table hustling guests to vote for his campaign!
By this point I was far too curious not to go and say hello. I was greeted by a very confident and charming 12 year-old entrepreneur called Lukas, who was keen to tell me about his project and the game he was building ‘Bag Checker’ which he is currently trying to raise $4,000 for on Indiegogo. I was keen to hear more about what brought him to this point.
“Actually I started my first project when I was 8 years old. I bought and sold goods that I could find cheaply in local stores or supermarkets. I then sold them on for a much higher price for example headphones, iphone cases and now these sunglasses I’m wearing!”
Actually I started my first project when I was 8 years old. I bought and sold goods that I could find cheaply in local stores or supermarkets
Hearing Lukas say this brought me fond flashbacks when I was a young kid myself, buying and selling things on ebay, which I give most credit to what made me want to build a start-up later in life. I was curious what part of these projects motivated Lukas the most.
“I have always been fond of making money and trading goods, but that’s not my favourite part of these projects. My favourite part is meeting so many different people who have different ideas and different perspectives that I can use to make my products better.”
12 years old and knows about ‘vanity metrics’
At this point, Lukas’ (very proud) dad popped into the scene to tell him that he’d had a few tweets already from the event. ‘How many retweets though? It’s the retweets that matter’ Lukas replied, making me chuckle to myself that at just 12 he already knew about ‘vanity metrics’ and had a pretty breathtaking understanding of social virality!
After telling Lukas how impressed I was and thanking him for the inspiring chat, I had time for one last question and asked him if he had any advice for other kids looking to start similar projects at his age.
“My advice is to take small steps. Don’t think you can just jump in thinking that you know it all. Start to get to know people and learn from them. And finally, always have a passion for what you are doing.”
My advice is to take small steps. Don’t think you can just jump in thinking that you know it all.