18 Year Old Internet Entrepreneur Made $40 Million From Nothing: Story of Gurbaksh Chahal

How does a 16-year-old boy decide to set up a business and in 2 years sell it for $40 million? What could have possibly been his thought process up until when he decided to set the business? Now I could easily permit my brain to understand this, if the boy was born into opulence, but this is a boy his family was going through a little bit of hardship.

Gurbaksh Chahal popularly called G, sold his first business at 18 for $40 million, and his second business was bought by Yahoo Inc for $300 million, when he was only 25. We at CreativityTurf have learnt a lot from him, and we will like to share it with you.

G’s first company ClickAgents was an advertising network (I.e a company that connects advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements) focused on performance-based advertising. The hardship his family was facing made him want to help out, he tried getting a job at McDonalds, and he was rejected, he saw an IPO of DoubleClick and wanted to have a piece of that, he then resorted to starting his own business. Even though, he didn’t know the basics of the industry which were programming and maths, he decided to learn it. Two years later ValueClick agreed to buy ClickAgents the business he setup for $40 million. As you will be interested, I also will like to know in explicit terms what he did for his business to have been valued at $40 million.

Again in 2004, he formed BlueLithium. BlueLithium specialized in behavioral targeting of banner advertising (a process that tracks web users’ habits online in order to show ads they are most likely to respond to). Three years later, Yahoo! bought BlueLithium for $300 million in cash. Making this young man a self-made multi millionaire at the age of 25.

Now let us share a little bit of G’s thought process as we at CreativityTurf understand it; he believes, to have a successful business, it is not about who gets there first, but it’s the person who gets it right. And this is true, examples abound -before Facebook, was Myspace, Hi5, even Friendster the pioneer, but Facebook has eclipsed them all.

Having a great idea is one thing, or better still is only 10% done, executing the idea is the remaining 90%, many people have great ideas but few people ever get to execute, If Gurbaksh hadn’t executed on his ideas the story would be different as of today. Also a great idea alone doesn’t matter, but you have to be able to showcase the value -hence we see very skilful street basketballers and footballers and they never get to play for teams like LA Lakers or Manchester United, or even get to play professionally but you get to see one that has an average talent and his able to productise their talent or idea, gets offers.

I think two things are clear here, an idea is not difficult to come by, we just have to think of a better and the right way of doing something, and then productise and execute on that.

Be inspired, be the change you want to see

We will still share further lessons from Gurbaksh Chahal in our next post.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. email says:

    what you’ve said makes sense, and i can understand it very clearly, thanks. email email email email email

    1. You are welcome.
      Get Inspired!

  2. email says:

    when i come to your blog i always get interested on what you had written. email email email email email

    1. People like you make me spend some more time blogging

  3. email says:

    i just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. i have added to my favourites. thank you. email email email email email

    1. Your comment is highly appreciated

  4. Ojie says:

    “Be inspired, be the change you want to see”. Interesting phrase, sounds familiar. I like this posting. Lets take it to another industry, what is the difference between a singer and Beyonce? There is no difference in terms of skill, for they are both singers, however one is a singer and the other is BEYONCE. See the difference? The singer has the talent 10%, but BEYONCE used the remaining 90 percent (granted she is not hard on the eyes) to establish herself as the foremost recording artist/ entertainer of her genration. So, again, it is just the risk taking of us. However, I must point out that we should endeavour to think outside the box in order for us to be successful. We must aspire to be trend setters rather than trend followers and must continue re-inventing ourselves in order to keep the interest levels high. It is very easy to get to NUMBER 1, however, staying there is where the job begins.

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