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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Friday, April 19, 2013

Entrepreneurial ideas are everywhere

By Clark Howard


I want to tell you about two very different entrepreneurs who both struck it big and are now getting a lot of press coverage.

First up, meet 22-year-old community college dropout Sophia. She was living in a spare room of her aunt's home, and didn't have the brightest prospects. So she decided to take her love of vintage clothing and do something with it.

Sophia would buy vintage clothing at Goodwill and other places and started selling it on eBay. Now she has an online business selling to late teens and 20something women that will do $100 million in business this year!

Her story is crazy. She went from eBay to her own website, NastyGal.com. She owes a lot of her growth to smart use of social media like Facebook and Instagram.

Meanwhile, there's an Aussie kid named Nick who taught himself to write software at 12. By 15, he designed one of most popular apps for iPhones, Summly. (It's now been removed from the App Store because Nick sold the firm to Yahoo! for just a hair under $30 million.)

Summly uses artificial intelligence to look for keywords in news reports and then gives you short versions of the story with the gist of it intact. It's a perfect app for those with a short attention span. Summly has been downloaded a million times.

By the way, Nick is a jock, he plays team sports like rugby, and is not your typical computer nerd. He's written several more popular apps and attracted funding from venture capitalists all around the world.

It just goes to show there are business ideas in all of us. Not every single one will work out. But you've just got to have the guts to pursue them.