Alborz Fallah is no stranger to failure. He has had 17 businesses since he started his first ad-based website at the age of 12, joining the ranks of young entrepreneurs who have commercialised their tech skills. Long before platforms like Tumblr and Blogger existed, he created and ran MyWebBlog.com, which had more than 40,000 users at its peak.
Alborz has had a web design company and a computer store, and various other projects that either closed quietly or were sold. Then, earlier this year, he sold a half-share of a website he started in 2006 to Channel Nine for $35 million.
Alborz was a student at the University of Queensland, studying a Bachelor of Information Technology/Arts degree, when he launched CarAdvice.com.au. Now he’s back at the university, helping out budding business owners as the Entrepreneur in Residence at the UQ Idea Hub. He’s there every couple of weeks to answer questions from other budding young entrepreneurs about the issues of running a start-up. “I usually go in at least two days a week just to work in the labs for the day because I really like the atmosphere,” he says.
The serial entrepreneur first started learning code at the age of 6 or 7, starting with QBasic, moving on to Java and Pascal and eventually PHP. “I was never a great programmer,” Alborz says. “My whole philosophy was to get a minimal viable product out – I wanted to just get it to work.”
He’s a big believer in learning through failure, and says that anyone with an idea for a digital business should buy a domain name and hosting and get started. “Chances are you’ll fail, and that’s OK,” he says. “I think the best advice I can give is not to be discouraged. Don’t get stuck on an idea – if it doesn’t work, move on to the next thing.”
– Chloe Walker
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs