Roughly 15 to 25 thousand dollars made from selling his business, all while still in high school to boot! Saharan Newaz, even holed up at home during the prime of the COVID-19 pandemic and fighting through various obstacles, truly shows what anyone could accomplish with determination and dedication. Here’s the inspirational behind-the-scenes of Newaz’s business!
Starting a business is a very difficult task, and one of the most difficult steps is coming up with a business idea. It’s so difficult that a quick google search for “coming up with a business idea” comes up with a long string of articles on just how to do that. In fact, this idea didn’t even start out as a business idea for Newaz!
“Before I started building the software, I used to resell sneakers as a hobby. One of the common problems we had as sneaker resellers was staying up earlier in the morning, just waiting for the website to drop the sneakers,” Newaz said. “But we never knew when they were going to drop the sneakers, so we had to sit in front of the computers from 8AM to 2 o’clock in the afternoon … It was very continuous, and nobody knew when they were going to drop, so it was very exhausting.”
Necessity is the mother of innovation. For those still wondering how he got this idea, the well-known proverb is probably well-known for a reason!
“So that’s when I got the idea, if we had an autonomous system [a piece of software] that would monitor these websites and send a notification to whoever was watching them when the shoe dropped, [that] would be much better rather than sitting right in front of the computer,” Newaz said. “At first it wasn’t [even] a business idea, it was more like ‘okay I just want to build this so I could help my friends and myself get these sneakers.’”
Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes friends are terrible people, other times great people. There are a few instances, however, when a friend is basically a leprechaun and even actually willing to lead you to a small fortune!
“In December of 2019, there was one guy … who was interested in taking this idea into a business. He was like ‘hey, we could be partners, and you know, I’ll use my networks and take this software and scale it to people that would pay actual money for it, because right now it’s just friends and family that are getting it,’” Newaz said. “So I’m like, that’s an idea that I could think about. So after a couple months goes by, we’re still talking, and I finally thought about giving it a shot.”
Now, if one would think that a business is not difficult to start, then one would be sorely mistaken. Great things come from hard work, and businesses are not an exception. Luckily, for Shahran Newaz, it got a little easier in the end.
“So in the beginning, it was 7-8 hours a day [of work], cause it was just building the [software]: just coding and researching vulnerabilities, you know, etc. But then everything was built, and it was just maintaining the software: so making sure it [the software] doesn’t crash, the servers kept running, there wasn’t any threats, or any people trying to steal the software and making it their own” Newaz said. “[Finally, at this point], it was just me maybe working 2-3 hours after school everyday or maybe telling the other guy during school like ‘hey, this is going on, can you go in and fix it?’”
That’s truly a lot of work! Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time for relaxation because of it, something to keep in mind when starting a business of your own.
“[Well] it was merely find the time whenever you can, do what you have to do” Newaz said. “I guess you can say at night time, [you] play games… that’s about it.”
Not having enough time for leisure isn’t the only problem with being a student and entrepreneur at the same time. Shahran Newaz goes on to explain an issue that many businesses have faced in the past.
“One of the hardest [obstacles] was actually getting people to buy it. Cause at first, nobody trusts a 16 year old kid to get money from people,” Newaz said. “It was actually selling the things, like ‘hey this is not something that’s gonna kill your computer or it’s not a virus that’s gonna lock you out and put ransom on it- It’s something that’s, you know, helped a lot.”
Shahran Newaz is truly a beacon of work ethics that everyone should aspire too. But would spending so much time on a business cause him to regret it, as a valedictorian may regret not having enough time for friends and family?
“I have no regrets- I actually enjoyed doing what I did. I guess if I had advice to get to other people… just do what you find amazing. Like, if you chase money, you’re not going to get the same results as something you’re really passionate about, so do something you’re passionate about. Don’t worry about the money, the money will come regardless, and just have fun with what your doing.”