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Doing Apps and Start-Ups While Still in High School

PALO ALTO, Calif. Like many young entrepreneurs here in Silicon Valley, Matthew Slipper knows that success does not come easy. His first start-up, an online education venture, flopped. His second, a video-sharing app for the iPhone, has sold only 20 copies.

加利福尼亚州帕洛阿尔托 和许多硅谷的年青企业家一样,马修 斯利珀(Matthew Slipper)知道胜利来之不易。他第一次创业树立的在线教导企业以失败告终,第二次,他为iPhone开发的视频分享利用程序只卖出了20份拷贝。

But Mr. Slipper is optimistic. He should be. He s just 18, a founding member of the Paly Entrepreneurs Club, an extracurricular group at the local high school that sprang into existence last September the brainchild of about a dozen students committed to inventing the future.

但斯利珀很乐观,而且有理由乐观。他才18岁,是帕洛阿尔托高中企业家俱乐部(Paly Entrepreneurs Club)的开创人之一。这家俱乐部是这所当地高中去年9月成立的课外运动小组,创意来自10来个致力于发明未来的学生。
从左至右,俱乐部的成员包含阿龙 巴约尔(Aaron Bajor)、亚历克斯 勒纳尔(Alex Lenail)、马修 斯利珀(Matthew Slipper)、文森特 格勒(Vincent Gurle)和詹姆斯 马(James Maa) I want to build something that is tied to what is happening next, he said.

斯利珀说: 我想做和新趋势紧密相连的东西。

While budding moguls in high school clubs like the Future Business Leaders of America invest make-believe money in the stock market or study the principles of accounting, the Entrepreneurs Club members have a distinctly Silicon Valley flavor: they want to create start-ups.

在像 美国未来商业领袖 (Future Business Leaders of America)这样的高中俱乐部里,初露头角的佼佼者们用虚拟货币投资股市或研讨财务原理,这个企业家俱乐部的成员则对硅谷有着异乎寻常的兴致:他们想要自己创业。

They have met weekly during the school year to discuss their ventures and ideas, explore matters like money-raising strategies and new markets, and host guest speakers. Once, they held a Skype chat with a software engineer in Sweden who described the intricacies of running an online music business.


Founding a company in high school is a great opportunity, said Vincent Gurle, 18. Later in life, if you fail at business you might have to go live with your parents, he said. But we re already doing that.

18岁的文森特 格勒(Vincent Gurle)说,在高中时首创公司 机遇宏大 。他说,在今后的生涯里, 如果你的生意失败了,你可能被迫跑回去和父母同住,而我们原来就和父母住在一起。

Mr. Gurle, who will attend the University of California, Santa Cruz in the fall, started a business last year aimed at supplying students to companies as software testers. It sputtered when he could not find enough companies interested in buying the service. He counts the effort a success anyway, he told the club at a recent meeting, figuring that the people he met will remember him when he returns with his next idea.

格勒今年秋天将到加州大学圣克鲁斯分校(University of California, Santa Cruz)学习。去年,他开端经营把学生部署到公司做软件测试员的业务。因无法找到足够多的有兴致购置服务的公司,这项业务最终夭折。在最近的俱乐部会议上,他说他以为自己的尽力还是胜利的,因为下次,如果他带着别的创意回访曾约见的人,那些人会记得他。

Now he is learning how to program for Microsoft s new mobile operating system.


Club members have been working on projects like a social network to help teenagers quickly organize study groups and a trading network for Bitcoin, a virtual currency. They have brainstormed ideas for mobile geolocation games and new kinds of grocery store scanners.


At a recent meeting, about a dozen boys gathered in an empty economics classroom at Palo Alto High, known as Paly. The demographic somewhat reflects Silicon Valley, too; there were no girls, though all the boys say they wish some would join their club.


There also were few laptops or even tablets in the room, befitting a post-PC world. All the boys had their work on paper or smartphones. They passed these around to show off their latest concepts.


Mr. Slipper, who plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara in January after a stint in R.O.T.C. boot camp, demonstrated his video-sharing app, speaking quickly so as to leave time for everyone to talk about their ideas before the lunch bell rang.

斯利珀打算先到后备军官训练队海军训练营(R.O.T.C boot camp)服役,之后前往加州大学圣巴巴拉分校(Universityof California, Santa Barbara)学习。他一边展现自己的视频分享利用软件,一边飞快的做讲授,以便留出足够的时光,让所有成员在午餐铃响之前完成他们的创意演讲。

The syntax wasn t hard, he said, explaining the coding involved. Objective C in the iOS framework took me about two weeks to learn. I ve modeled the business on Instagram, leveraging speed and ease of loading. Sympathetic young heads nodded.

说明相干的编码时,斯利珀说: 句法并不难,我只花了大约两周时光来学习iOS平台(译者注:iOS是苹果公司为iPhone开发的操作体系)的C语言。我模仿了Instagram的照片分享业务,平衡了速度,缓解了流量。 其他的年青企业家同情的点点头。

How will you protect your intellectual property? asked Aaron Bajor, 18, one of the group s founders. He was waiting to discuss a diagram of his own project, a social network for entrepreneurs entering college.

18岁的阿龙 巴约尔(Aaron Bajor)也是俱乐部的开创人之一。他问斯利珀: 你如何维护你的知识产权呢? 巴约尔在等着大家对他自己的项目图表进行讨论,他的项目是一个辅助这些企业家进军大学校园的社交网络。

Someone can always copy your idea, but that will be half-baked, Mr. Slipper said confidently. It s not theirs.

斯利珀充斥信念地答复: 别人可以复制你的想法,但复制的东西总是半生不熟,这个想法究竟不是他们的。

James Maa, another club founder, was up next to discuss his project, the study group social network.

下一位,轮到俱乐部的另一位创建者詹姆斯 马(James Maa)讨论他的项目,一个学习小组社交网络。

We re not out in public yet, he said, apologetically. Mr. Maa, 18, plans to study computer science at the University of California, Berkeley in the fall. His social life, which included attending many events for start-ups, had gotten in the way of building the network, which he calls Bubble.

马颇为负疚地说: 我们的社交网络还没有对外开放。 18岁的马打算今年秋天到加州大学伯克利分校(Universityof California, Berkeley)学习盘算机科学。马加入了众多社会运动,其中包含许多创业运动,这些运动妨害了他创立这个被他称作 泡泡 (Bubble)的网络。

Not everyone had a project to present, and that was acceptable.


The goal here is inspirational, said Mr. Bajor, who is headed to the University of Southern California to study entrepreneurship. A great idea can hit you any time. Even if you do not have a great idea yet, if you have capabilities and passion others will want you on their team.

即将前往南加州大学(Universityof Southern California)学习企业管理的巴约尔说: 俱乐部的重要目标是激发灵感。灵感随时可能出现 。就算你现在还没有好主张,只要你有才能和豪情,其他人就会让你参加他们的团队。

Start-up fever for these students is something they breathe in the air, or learn at home, with parents who work in the tech industry. 


The kids here have such an unfair advantage, said Aaron Levie, 27, the chief executive of a data storage company, Box, referring to students throughout the Valley. He recently spoke during Science Week at another local high school, nearby Los Altos High. In Seattle we had lots of computers, but we never had venture capitalists drop by.

谈及全部硅谷的学生时,27岁的数据存储公司Box首席履行官 阿龙 利维(Aaron Levie)说: 这里的孩子拥有的不公正竞争优势实在是太大了。 最近,他在本地域另一所高中举行的科技周发表了演讲,该校位于洛斯阿尔托斯高中邻近。他说: 我们西雅图有很多电脑,但风险投资家从来不访问我们。 赞一下