15-year-old Sold Cloud Startup Phenona to ActiveState: Lessons Learned

daniil kulchenko phenonaHas cloud computing created new millionaires? Absolutely yes. How about this: Cloud computing has also created teen millionaires – huh? Yes, you heard it right. Cloud computing is for everybody, in any sense – even for youngsters!

It was announced last week – 15-year-old Daniil Kulchenko sold his Phenona – a startup cloud computing company – to ActiveState, a dynamic language software company established in 1997.

Phenona was kicked off by Kulchenko as an answer to the need in the market he found in his effort to find a solution that allows him to use a Perl-based web app with the cloud. The gap is huge – there is no existing service on the market today to meet the need. ActiveState works closely with Perl (also other dynamic programming languages,) so acquiring Kulchenko’s Phenona is a strategic short cut to enter the growing cloud computing market.

Interestingly, Kulchenko actually intends to join ActiveState as a part-time employee because he is still finishing high school. Kulchenko – obviously a talented teenager – is not new to programming; he does HTML programming since 6-year-old and became a freelance Linux administrator at 11.

What we can learn from Kulchenko and Phenona

It’s the basic rule of thumb: To start a successful business, you need to answer a need in the market. When a need is present, it always means that the market has demands that have not been met, yet.

Kulchenko has discovered the need, and as he has the skills to make Perl web apps to work with the cloud, a potentially successful business was born – and then sold for a good amount of capital gain, I suspect.

So – here’s one thing to ponder: The market is still open; there are things that could work well with the cloud, but they didn’t – if you have the skills or the resource to hire someone with skills – you are indeed a pioneer, and we all know, in business, pioneers have greater chance to make the most out of their business.

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