I first met Tyler Dikman at Comdex 2001 when he was just 17 years old. Now, most 17 year old kids generally don’t attend trade shows in Las Vegas but Tyler is no normal kid. Since the age of five, Tyler aspired to run his own successful business. From lemonade stands, lawn mowing, babysitting, and magic show businesses to starting CoolTronics at the age of fifteen.
Over the years, I watched Tyler build CoolTronics to over $3.5 million in sales. There are tons of stories I can tell about some of the crazy things we’ve done at the various trade shows over the years but I think I’ll save those for another day.
Tyler’s success is based on a clear understanding of marketing and personal branding. Tyler knew how to use his young age to his advantage. Everyone loves a story about a 17 year old with a million dollar business and a Black Amex and Tyler milked it for all it was worth. That drive has cumulated to this guest spot on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.
Tyler’s newest venture is a social networking company call Redux. Last March, the company raised $1.65 million in venture funding for their FlickIM software, an application that allows users to aggregate chat accounts and watch TV and listen to music within the same window. FlickIM, which competes with Meebo, uses a collaborative filter and proprietary technology, and will make money through subscriptions and advertising.
The new venture was enough to get Tyler and his young co-founders listed as one of Business Week’s Top 25 under 25. In the above Big Idea interview, Tyler gives some ideas on how to become successful. The ideas work for both online and offline.