15-year old, budding entrepreneur Jackson Gariety wants to be a global force with his company HashTraffic. The Portland, Oregon native got a tremendous jump growing his company at Startup Weekend Portland last year. Seeing that hashtags were a global protocol, he and Brian Hendrickson also noticed that content was confined mostly to Twitter and FaceBook. They fell on the idea of creating a social platform that aggregated hashtag content, then selling the pages as promotion for brands and events.
The pair gives tremendous credit to the local Portland community and Startup Weekend for being priceless resources in their quest. Their next big challenge is moving from being developers to being business owners and Jackson has some great insights. Although they haven't seen any direct competition, they know it's out there. "You always have competition...you're always competing for people's attention," Jackson wisely states. They also have learned that, even though there is competition, it doesn't mean you need to be adversarial. "Business isn't war, it's collaboration," is Jackson's attitude.
He is inspired by what he calls "the uniqueness of the startup world" and those who populate it. In particular, Paul Graham and his combination of business and philosophy and how there is a bigger picture than just P&L statements.