Every real estate agent knows that the next big deal is right around the corner. Ben Pasternak, a high school dropout from Sydney, Australia, is proof of just how true that age-old adage really is.
Pasternak just might turn out to be the next great tech entrepreneur. Today, he is just 17, he is founder and CEO of Flogg, an app that allows users to buy and sell within their social network with just a swipe. He shot to fame in 2014 when he designed brain teaser game Impossible Rush while bored in science class at Sydney’s Reddam House School.
Pasternak gained fame when his iOS app Impossible Run topped the App Store charts, attracting the attention of a number of Silicon Valley investors who were ready to fund his ideas.
After his initial success, Pasternak developed Flogg, an app that pairs the features of eBay and Tinder, allowing the teenagers to interact and buy/sell items by swiping. He made the app after he noticed that his friends in Sydney were selling unwanted items using Facebook groups.
Today, Pasternak lives in New York, runs his $2 million company which includes a seven-member team of mostly teenagers and young people in their early 20s.
The oldest member of the team is probably the COO, Michael Landsberger, who is 30.
“I think technically he’s in charge of me,” Landsberger tells ABC. “It’s interesting. Every day brings something new and very unexpected. But Ben’s got a great insight into the teenage mind. He brings a lot to the table that I could never hope to replicate.”
Landsberger said Pasternak’s age doesn’t come into play and the young entrepreneur is comfortable with who he is.
“People who know him in a business setting feel the same way,” he said. “They only pressure upon him is the pressure to succeed in the company, like anybody else who starts one.”
Naturally, Pasternak is compared to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, but he shies away from the comparison.
“He’s too smart,” Pasternak said of the comparison during an interview with ABC News.
The team’s next venture is Monkey – a randomized video-chat program for teenagers. The app aimed to ‘fill the loneliness void in teenagers’ by helping them make internet friends around the world, who they can then talk to on Snapchat.
Monkey’s name is derived from the three wise monkeys, and as such prides itself on being a ‘safe space’ with a strict code of conduct.