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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Yes Teens
Girl in Power: How a 16-year-old girl started a multimillion dollar social network
    2017-September-20  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

听价值百万美元社交网站创始人讲述自己十六岁创业的故事

Juliette Brindak started a social networking site for tweens when she was 16, and it’s doing better than ever.

Miss O and Friends generates 10 million monthly visits, a 20-fold increase from its inception in 2005. It’s also worth around US$15 million, according to early investor Procter & Gamble.

As the website continued full-steam ahead, Brindak did as well, even earning her college degree while running her thriving enterprise. And now, at 28, she’s taking yet another monumental step in her career: She is executive producing a television series, “Hyperlinked,” based on her own story.

The 10-episode series, launched on YouTube Red in May and was written and directed by an all-female team, follows a fictional group of girls creating their own girls’ websites and navigating the all-too-common issues that face young teens coming of age.

When she was 10, Brindak drew characters for a set of five friends she called “Cool Girls,” who were all inspired by real-life girls. The main cool girl, Miss O, represents her younger sister Olivia. The set of “Cool Girls” would eventually become Miss O and Friends.

In the beginning — like many startups — Brindak reached out to family members and friends for investment money. Her mother, a graphic designer, brought her drawings to life while her father, who has a background in business, aided in the fundamentals of creating the company.

What started out as a few sketches on the way home from a family vacation quickly ballooned into a haven for millions of adolescents. The site was ranked the third-largest girls-only Web site in 2011, according to Inc. Magazine.

“In November 2011, girls were writing on the Girl2Girl wall asking if we could get them tickets to a One Direction concert. This was the first time we ever heard about One Direction and we were able to create a concert/sponsorship with Simon & Schuster’s ‘Dork Diaries’ books and winning tickets.”

She’s made it possible — through contests — for her users to see celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, in concerts.

Through high school and college, the site has continued to improve. But managing the site as a college student at Washington University in St. Louis was no easy task.

“One teacher, who ironically was an entrepreneur and taught my class on social entrepreneurship, was the only one who wouldn’t budge about dates. I had a final on the same day I had to fly out to California for a really important meeting and he said that if I missed it, I would get an entire letter grade taken off my final grade. Luckily, the meeting got moved, but I was so shocked about his reaction.”

Instead of the typical business majors most entrepreneurs study, Brindak decided to focus on anthropology and public health because her site revolves around women health issues.

“I was able to learn so much about cultures around the world and also become informed and aware about different ways that I can reach out to women,” Brindak says. “The goal for the site was, and still is, to help young girls build confidence and self-esteem.”

To share her users’ stories with the world, Brindak published the book “Miss O & Friends: Write On! The Miss O & Friends Collection of Rockin’ Fiction,” a compilation of user-submitted stories. Brindak has plans to publish more books in the near future.

(SD-Agencies)

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