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Profile of Success – Tyler Dikman

written by John Chow on October 29, 2007

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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.

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{ 31 comments }

Eric Barnes October 29, 2007 at 7:03 pm

Wow pretty amazing. I wish I had a great idea at that young of age.

whydowork October 29, 2007 at 7:45 pm

It’s worth checking out the entire top 25. There are some great young minds out there, most of which are making their mark online :)

Jason October 30, 2007 at 9:32 am

Yea that is pretty incredible. I always had ideas I just never had discipline within myself as a kid. I wish I had the discipline I have to day about 10 years ago. Good thing is its never too late! :smile:

Guitar Hero 3 November 1, 2007 at 7:44 pm

I know what you mean. Those type of success stories are amazing.

Chuck October 29, 2007 at 7:06 pm

I’ve just started reading on on both Tyler Dickman and Timothy Sykes. Amazing work ethic and big dreams can get you anywhere in the world.

Thomas Sinfield October 29, 2007 at 7:19 pm

Wow that is an amazing story!
thanks for sharing. I wish I had a $3.5m website at his age!

Nick October 29, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Absolutely Fantastic! Can’t believe he’s sooo young. Gives some of us younger ones a little insporation though.

Nick October 29, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Absolutely Fantastic! Can’t believe he’s sooo young. Gives some of us younger ones a little inspiration though.

Shaun Carter October 29, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Yeah that’s awesome. He’s the same age as me and making millions. He has a great presence on camera too, certainly would make a great motivational speaker for young entrepreneurs.

Nick October 30, 2007 at 9:40 am

He does have a great camera presence. One thing that would make him such a great motivational speaker for college students is that he has the experience and knowledge, but yet he is still the same age as many college students and they can relate to him and such.

Maybe that will be his next venture.

Ben October 29, 2007 at 8:05 pm

“Get started early. You can make the mistakes when you’re young…”

That is so true. I’ve been inspired to take more risks.

shy man October 29, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Awesome and ispirational for us..

Mike October 29, 2007 at 8:26 pm

Yeah that is pretty amazing. He must have a lot drive and ambition…

Chris Jacobson October 29, 2007 at 8:39 pm

That’s really great! Good for him!
His advice is very true as well.

Shawn Knight October 29, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Awesome, I remember seeing this episode before, ‘the kid with the pimped out lemonade stand” lol.

Domtan October 29, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Good luck to him. Hard work (and luck) pays off.

Danny Tsang October 29, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Good stuff, loved the post. He is a driven kid and he knows what he wants in business and life. Reminds me of myself (the drive and determination, not the millions[yet] :mrgreen: .) I think its important to start early. I did so with internet businesses and real estate investing and I’ve made many mistakes, but the lessons I learned from them was worth it and I can press on while avoiding those mistakes. A good universal rule is to get started NOW. Start learning and applying, regardless of your age because the earlier you start the better.

Blog Contests October 29, 2007 at 11:32 pm

I just qualify… time to read and listen…

Wordpress Themes October 30, 2007 at 1:39 am

Hehe, nice lemonade stand. Everyone seems to be having such a thing when you’r young but he really made it. wow.

rocker dish October 30, 2007 at 2:49 am

i hope i can achieve this feat too…..at such an age also :idea:

Home Recording October 30, 2007 at 4:06 am

I wish that such information sharing was available when I was 17! I console myself that it is not too late to learn from young minds operating in a totally different environment.

Richard Miller October 30, 2007 at 5:01 am

great video! Once again this proves that people should diversify the bait if they want to catch more, if I can put it that way. :cool:

Josiah October 30, 2007 at 7:08 am

Please don’t ever post clips again from the Donny Deutsch show.

Nick October 30, 2007 at 9:33 am

What’s wrong with Donny Deutsch? Some of the guests he has on there are pretty cool and have interesting stories. Besides, it’s meant to be inspirational.

Mike Pedersen Golf October 30, 2007 at 7:49 am

I’m finding that adsense on my many sites is paying diddly. I mean ridiculous. Are there other programs that would be worth looking at? I’m in the golf niche, so I need targeted ads for golfers. I look forward to hearing from somone (or maybe even John :wink: ).

Todd Crooks October 30, 2007 at 9:55 am

You could try alot of things. Check his recommended money makers in the bottom left. Things like bidvertiser and Kontera content-link are good. Because by blog is small at the moment I can’t use Kontera but take a look at AdBrite for all types of adverts from content links to normal advertising blocks.

Todd Crooks October 30, 2007 at 9:53 am

I am 15 and have been into business for a while now, at the moment I’m just sitting back, learning from others, taking a few goes at things and seeing the results. I figure that if I learn from my mistakes and others mistakes, when I’m older I’ll have a much bigger chance at succeeding. No outstanding inventions or business ideas have come my way yet but I’m still thinking. Look out for my name in the future :grin:

Kim Roach October 30, 2007 at 11:35 am

That’s very inspiring! It’s amazing how many young people are starting their own business these days.

Nicholas Skeba October 30, 2007 at 2:32 pm

Seems like some major online investments, though I’m sure it will pay off.

Click for Nick – Banned from Digg

Guitar Hero 3 November 1, 2007 at 7:45 pm

People like this make me want to work harder.

Thousand Dollar Project November 4, 2007 at 10:57 am

its true, make your mistakes whilst you are young
you’re more able to take it
mid thirties seem to be the best time to hit the money
(in my experience)