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Ruslan Kogan, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Winner

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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.

Ruslan Kogan, VIC (b. 1982)

Name: Ruslan Kogan
Age: 28 (Born: November 1982)
Gender: Male
State: VIC

“People ask me how I manage to work over 100 hours a week,” Ruslan Kogan says. “I tell them: I don’t work; I live this stuff.”

For the 28-year-old creator of the wildly succesflusful online consumer electronics company that bears his name, “stuff” is a potent mix of competition, innovation and bravado. The man who came to Australia from Belarus with his family at age 5 has run more than 20 businesses since age 10. He lives to beat his foes to market and revels in tweaking the noses of others in the electronics biz.

“In an industry where there’s so much fluff, I say how it is,” Kogan says.

“I’m nobody’s bitch.”

Kogan, a repeat Anthill 30under30 winner, continued to push the boundaries over the past year, building on a company that designs its products in Australia, assembles them with partners in China, then sells the stuff to consumers strictly online. No bricks and mortar.

In February, Kogan (the company) introduced Australia to its LivePrice system, which encourages buyers to purchase new products early in their design and production cycle. The earlier the buy, the cheaper the price; the greater the early purchases, the more production capital for the company. As Kogan (the person) likes to say: win/win.

In early June, Kogan rolled out the world’s first laptop powered by an OS based on Google Chromium. How did Kogan beat big competitors Acer and Samsung to to the punch? The company used software that is not Google’s endorsed version of Chromium, but a carbon copy that takes advantage of Google’s open-source philosophy.

Along the way, Ruslan Kogan sat down for an illuminating video interview with The Encourage, the entrepreneur mentoring initiative helmed by fellow 30under30 regular Jack Delosa.

Since its debut in 2006, Kogan has sold more than 300,000 products in Australia and the UK. It’s one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation, but its founder said its reputation has spread well beyond the continent and Europe.

“Every media outlet in the world wants to know our story,” Kogan says. “Even when I’m walking the halls of CES in Las Vegas, I have journalists and tech fans from around the world wanting to know what Kogan has next.”

Anthill asks: Ruslan Kogan, what’s your superpower?

Being able to think outside the box, understand market forces, understand technology, and see industries how they should be in five years rather than how they are today.

“Today Tonight” features Kogan Agora 7-inch tablet

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

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