Hey Under30CEO, I am proud to announce that Under30CEO.com has been acquired by Daniel DiPiazza and Rich20Something Media, Inc.
After nearly eight years and 30 million pageviews later, my Co-Founder Jared O’Toole and I could not be more excited to continue to work full-time on our travel company Under30Experiences and allow Under30CEO to grow to new levels under the leadership of a kick-ass team.
Want to hear how we did it?
Please join me for the following informational, actionable, yet ridiculous roast that details: ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ, getting invited to the United Nations, White House, the President of Iceland’s house, and the time we threw a kegger on the 60th floor of the Empire State Building.
Fun fact #1: Under30CEO Started as a Ning Network.
Remember those? If not, maybe you are too young… don’t worry, just know that we originally started out trying to make the Facebook for entrepreneurs. Yeah… Facebook won that battle.
Fun fact #2: We started Under30CEO with only $150 which we had designed on Elance in India.
Not so fun fact #3: We failed a lot. We tried a whole lot of revenue models as detailed here, but made this site work as a business, supporting us as our only source of income for over five years.
Not so fun fact #4: Jared sold Andersen Windows at the Wappinger Falls, New York town fair, while I dug ditches with migrant workers in Poughkeepsie our first year in business. At least Entrepreneur Magazine thought it was cool.
Fun fact #5: When we finally focused on creating AWESOME CONTENT our site started to go viral and earn us six figures in revenue.
People loved the fact that we were helping young people start businesses, because at the time, nobody was getting jobs.
We were in the biggest economic downturn since The Great Depression and a couple twenty-two year old kids were out to change that.
Even when we were still broke things started to get real fun.
Look at this boss…
We were even invited to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ…
Damn I look good on Times Square.
All in the same year I sat in front of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations, John McCain and slew of Senators on Capitol Hill, and was asked to give advice at The White House. I even spoke at two US Embassies on how they could better support entrepreneurship in Iceland and Nicaragua.
Under30CEO allowed us to build an *incredible* network.
People loved Under30CEO so much… we had “friends” popping up everywhere:
Honestly, we were flattered…
…Nigeria showed (infringing on our IP) love too…haha.
Eventually I was getting paid speaking gigs at University’s all around the country. I even arrived before one event to find these posters EVERYWHERE on campus:
You don’t know how fun it was going through the archives of embarrassing pictures…
We had a launch party btw… we made it the official afterparty for the 2008 Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization National Conference. You had to pay a cover to get in. Genius.
Yes, the proceeds from the party allowed us to show up in a stretch Hummer…
… oh and the photoshoot…
(Skinny jeans were not in yet)
… ah and this reality tv cameo in a private jet!
… and then came the prestigious honors. Like this one from Business Insider:
As you can see, I still never miss an opportunity to show Jared some love online…
It was awesome being a slightly internet famous blogger.
And even if we seemed a little in love with our own hype…
It’s truly never been about us.
We were making a living doing something we loved and wanted to help others do the same.
But our generation is still in trouble.
We all know the “go to school, get a job, buy a car, house, ring and go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt paradigm” is broken.
Whether we like it or not, our lives are all based in materialism. It’s our production and consumption of stuff that makes our economic engine run and keeps us employed. Money comes in, and we turn around and send money out to pay down our debts.
It keeps us afloat…but we never thrive.
… and worst of all, so many of us deep down are still looking for what makes us happy. Because working that 9-5 job and living behind the same white picket fence for our whole lives, is scaring the sh*t out of us.
We need solutions.
We need leaders.
And a community to perpetuate this movement into action.
Please join me in welcoming my good friend Daniel DiPiazza and the new Under30CEO / Rich20Something Community with this responsibility. There is nobody better fit for the job.
Above all, we owe a huge thank you to YOU our readers, anyone who has ever contributed to the site, and our Editor Cara Murphy for her tireless work.
It’s the end of an era and the beginning of a very bright one.
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica