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Should a Teenage Entrepreneur Sell Out To Facebook? 358

Posted by timothy
from the why-confine-the-question-by-age? dept.
colinneagle writes "Andrew Mayhall is 19 years old and is running a server company, called Evtron, whose product has reportedly set the world record for data density (4.6 petabytes per server rack) and has begun attracting attention from investors. One of those interested parties is reportedly Facebook, with whom the young CEO claims to have had casual discussions about a potential acquisition/hire agreement (Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on the talks). He says the opportunity to speak with Facebook was simply one he couldn't pass up, and seems more impassioned by entrepreneurship. He speaks often of building his company into an EMC or NetApp, and could very well compete with them soon. But if an offer from Facebook ever comes, should he accept, or try to build something on his own?"
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Should a Teenage Entrepreneur Sell Out To Facebook?

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  • He should sell out (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:24PM (#41895467)

    And have plenty of beer money for when he goes to college.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:33PM (#41895633) Homepage Journal

    Let's say this is the best case scenario, that you actually figured out something in your garage, with little to no experience in other high density storage applications, that EMC, NetApp, and the other major players simply couldn't come up with despite having hundreds (thousands?) of very talented engineers. If you manage to get a patent on it (you don't have one yet... interesting) then just license the rights nonexclusively. But then again, hopefully you have at least one lawyer around to give you the same advice.

    Worst case scenario, is you just "invented" something that is already patented (this is highly likely) and your visibility just isn't high enough to have the hellhounds attack yet. In this case, again, a lawyer is your friend.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:50PM (#41895877)

    >> Don't sell...license.

    OK, some perspective from the "buyer" side. When I encounter a company with technology I want, I almost always attempt to LICENSE the technology, not buy the company. Why? Because I can usually get what I want out of the company cheaper and with less hassle than if I bought the company. (Think retaining/motivating employees, etc. too.) Plus, if I become a significant stream of revenue to that company, I can often dictate what the company does with the majority of its development resources if I'm needy enough; in effect, I can get that companies' other customers subsidize my desires.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:59PM (#41895979) Homepage Journal

    That's too young to retire. For one he doesn't seem like the guy who wold sit back. He'll be in tech somehow until he dies.

    I dunno...if he's smart, he'll realize that if he gets fiscally set up for life, where he no longer has to worry about spending any time the rest of his life 'earning a living'.....he can devote all his time to doing what he likes.

    If that includes future tech creation and motivation, what better way to do that full time, than to NOT have to waste time earning a living...?

  • Re:Retire at 20 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @03:31PM (#41897653)

    More like what country and/or state are you living in?

    In many places a 3-4 BR house will cost you about $1M these days. Take $2M out of that 5 for taxes off the top, and that leaves him with a place to live and $2M left. And he's 19. Sadly, $2M really isn't that much to live on for the next 60-70 years of his life - it's about $30k a year to pay property taxes, utilities, maintenance, car payments, health expenses, food, entertainment, etc. And blow all of that out of the water if he plans to get married and have kids. Take out $10k for those property taxes and $20k per year is way below the poverty line.

    And really, even if you want to ignore everything I just said about taxes, housing, expenses, etc. and take $5M/65 (assuming he'll live to ~85) that's only $76k a year. That puts him around the 70% percentile in the US, with the 50% percentile about $45k. So, yes, it's amazing to see when you do the math, but $5M at age 19 does require a fairly prudent lifestyle to last a lifetime.

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.