He is a 17 years old entrepreneur from The Netherlands who’s working as a freelance software developer for companies all over the world in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco while he’s still in high school.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Yes thanks for having me! So I’ve always been very passionate about computers from quite a young age. When I was 12 years old I started getting into website development, I never used any online training course or things like that. I tried to figure everything out by myself which seemed to be quite effective.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
In my business everyday has an interesting story, software development is always different and you always encounter new challenges on a daily base. The best moment of my career has been the point where I got my first international customer. It’s always been a dream to work for customers abroad and when I finally achieved that it was a major milestone in my career.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I think I’m the one that makes my company stand out, I’m the only person in the company but given my very young age everyone is quite amazed by what I can offer them at such a young age. This way I can really make my company stand out combined with my current portfolio.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Go for it! Don’t make others stop you, if they tell you your product is sh*t or that you won’t be able to achieve what you want simply ignore them and go for it. I’ve seen a lot of products fail because the owners didn’t give it their full 100% or they were thinking too big. Start small, dream big but don’t go too fast.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I can definitely say that my parents helped me a lot! With all their support over the years and letting me do what I got to do, it’s not easy to let your child travel the world by himself/with colleagues at such a young age. Without them letting me do that I wouldn’t have been here.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Yes definitely! A project of mine which was sold in March 2016 (Cycleswap) helped solving the problem of un-used bikes in Amsterdam, it allowed people to share their bike on our platform from which others could rent it for a low price.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Some people come into your life for a lifetime, and some of them came to take part of it as a scene.” is definitely my favourite life lesson quote. Over the years you meet a lot of people but you have to be selective in who can definitely help you make that next move.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’m mostly active on Instagram (instagram.com/matthijs) and Twitter (twitter.com/matthijs_soest), for more personal things they could follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/matthijs.otterloo.2). They can always reach out to me trough there by DM and I’ll try my best to answer their questions!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!