In ninth grade I started working on my first commercial shareware software product called Statbook. The goal with Statbook was to provide baseball and softball coaches with a Windows 3.1 application that made it easy to keep track of all the statistics for their team (games, hits, pitches, etc). I set the price at $12.95, put in on CompuServe, and when I was 15 years old I received a check in the mail from a gentleman in Minnesota. That was it! I was hooked on writing and selling software.
In addition to CompuServe’s shareware section, I put it on AOL, and built a simple website for people to download it. Not knowing much about sales and marketing, I also made some 3.5″ floppy labels in a desktop publishing program and attempted to sell copies of the program during little league season at my elementary school (Gilchrist in Tallahassee). Needless to say I didn’t sell any that way. Sales from CompuServe continued to trickle in from people all around the country and over the course of a two years I made a three hundred dollars from the product.
From this experience in early high school I knew I’d be involved in technology startups the rest of my life.