Always happy to meet for a coffee and discuss all things mobile or edtech
We want to show George's interview to anyone who says, 'I don't have enough experience to start my own business'. We wish we had been as enterprising as you when we were 18! He's got some great advice too: 'I experiment, I go on whims, I take risks and ultimately I go in which ever direction I see fit'.
I'm always happy to meet for a coffee to discuss anything app related and can certainly offer advice via email as well.
I'm currently at Stanford University whilst running my business, http://www.educationapps.co.uk" rel="nofollow">EducationApps.
School! A-Levels and all that lark. But if it wasn't for the connections and advice of my teachers, EducationApps wouldn't exist!
I've been running small businesses alongside school for as long as I can remember. I've done everything from selling sweets when I was really young, to becoming an eBay PowerSeller and co-founding a film business with a friend. EducationApps emerged from an interest in the app world and a lack of existing revision apps for students.
No planning whatsoever. One of the aspects I like most about running my own business is that I actually don't have to plan that much! I experiment, I go on whims, I take risks and ultimately I go in which ever direction I see fit. That might seem a little foolish but it's worked for me so far and so unless things change, I'll keep using that tactic!
Best: The best thing certainly has to be the relationships I've formed with both the teachers I work with and the people I've met along the way. One of the great things about the tech industry is that people are always willing to meet up for a chat, to listen, offer advice and ultimately network. I've met some fantastic people in the last year and some of the greatest experiences I've had have been simply sitting with those people and bouncing ideas off of one another.
Worst: The worst thing has to have been the strain the business has put on my life. Until July, I was running EducationApps while also finishing my final year of school and completing my A-Levels. It means I haven't had a full day's rest for over a year and this led to me being quite ill at one point. Conflict between academic requirements and the business have also led to some stress and last-minute work.
Some of the best advice I've received has come from one of the teachers involved in EducationApps from the start. He has always been there to offer his opinion on matters and give me better insight into the education community - be that, dealing with exam boards, publishers, teachers or students.
More recently I've sat down with a number of venture capitalists who have all offered some great insight into the VC world. It's actually made me question whether raising funds is the best route for EducationApps, particularly as I still want to go to university. We may be better off keeping the business very small and growing more slowly.
LinkedIn and Twitter have proven extremely valuable in terms of getting in touch with the right people in the right places at the right companies. LinkedIn gives users the ability to track down the exact individual in a company you may need to contact, while Twitter can create a direct relationship with individuals or companies that you may have never come into contact with before.
In terms of books, I've always enjoyed reading company histories and the biographies of entrepreneurs. One extremely insightful book is http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anyone-Can-Do-Building-Entrepreneurship/dp/1841127655/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1290424803&sr=8-2" rel="nofollow">Anyone Can Do It, written by the two founders of Coffee Republic. They discuss how they started their business from the very beginning and offer some great advice to anyone considering a startup.
Within the tech industry itself, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0091929784/?tag=wwwescthecity-21" rel="nofollow">37Signal's book is also a must-read, offering fantastic advice for any tech startup, particularly those dealing with online or offline apps and software development.