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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Lacy Groom, WA (b. 1994)
One of the more point-blank questions we always ask 30under30 applicants is, “Have you ever been lucky, punk?”
Lachy Groom knows a bit about luck: it’s taken him from Perth all the way to the rough-n-tumble Silicon Valley hotbed — and “Dirty Harry” Callahan’s own home town — of San Francisco.
At last count, Groom has had six businesses to his credit, three of which sold before he was even 18. He currently oversees Cardnap, a web aggregator — the largest of its kind, by his reckoning — dedicated to second-hand gift cards.
His buzz generator before that was iPadCaseFinder.com, an online shop for tablet accessories. The 400,000 unique visitors to the site in its opening weeks were impressive enough for a buyer to acquire the site in 2010.
His other two sales (the first at age 15) also bear mentioning: PSDtoWP.com (a Photoshop-to-WordPress conversion tool) and PAGGStack.com (a web page for dietary supplements). A shrewd salesman even in his adolescence, he was able to acquire hot domain names and negotiate prices much to his own benefit, enabling him to travel and fund new initiatives without a penny of investor capital.
Groom attributes his track record to an anticipatory mindset. “Start a business in reaction to a trend and you’ll ride the tail end of the wave. Anticipate the wave and you’ll ride it to the end,” he advises.
In addition to Cardnap, he runs two consulting sites aimed at startups. “Front-end development is my forte, so it’s something I can sell easily,” says Groom.
And then there’s his San Francisco story, which really was a jump-at-the-chance moment.
“I discovered a San Francisco-based startup was running a pilot program training people Ruby on Rails development,” he recalls. “I seized the opportunity immediately after graduating and moved out of home to San Francisco on a whim.” Groom finished the program with multiple job offers and was ultimately hired directly by the startup: “I’ve since got them in major tech press and American publications.”
While it’s paid to learn the ropes, the question of how long he can hang around is looming. American immigration laws offer few work visas for young transplants without university degrees. Groom is putting his hopes on the ‘Aliens of Extraordinary Ability’ visa set aside for artists, scientists and business-people. Once again, he is putting his luck — and craftsmanship — to the test.
“I have some amazing, successful CEOs writing me letters of recommendation,” he reveals. “I would love to work in the USA.”
Lachy Groom’s favourite quote:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” — Unknown
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.