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An interview with Maciej Noworyta – schoolboy and founder of

Maciej Noworyta is the founder of and won a school entrepreneurship competition at The Marie Skłodowska-Curie high school in Skawina, Poland in February 2010. Twelve pupils with exceptional extra curricular contributions to school and local life were asked by their entrepreneurship teacher Barbara Werner to present their “plan for the future” to a panel of 5 judges. The panel of judges, of which I was a member, decided which plan was the best.

Among the criteria we used the most important were:

  1. Degree of initiative (better to considering starting/doing something new than simply working for someone else)
  2. Realism. Any signs of awareness of the challenges and difficulties that would have to be overcome were viewed positively
  3. Communication skills and persuasiveness
We all agreed that Maciej Noworyta was the clear winner. This interview by e-mail is to both promote his success to wider audience and to make him an example to inspire other would-be entrepreneurs, as part of my work promoting youth entrepreneurship.

RL Please describe how you came to be the founder of . What motivated you to start the site?
MN I have been interested in computers since I was a child. I used to spend a lot of time playing computer games and at some point I realized that I could turn it into something like a hobby, something creative and interactive with other people.
RL Please give some numbers to describe how popular your web site is, and how much time you spend on the site every week.
MN On average, there are about 35.000 page views and 9000 visitors per day. I usually spend several hours per week on the site.
RL What do you do to make sure that your site is visible in Google and other search engines?
MN My site is regularly positioned by
RL There are many people, young and old, who start hobby web sites. What was it that you did differently that made your site successful?
MN It was a gradual process. I introduced some new modifications to facilitate using the site so that visitors would enjoy it.

RL What personal characteristics do you have that you would you say were most important in making a success of your web site?
MN I do not want to boast, but I am rather a hard-working, patient and creative person. I also have a lot of endurance.
RL What inspired you to go ahead with the project? Was it family, friends, teachers or something else?
MN  I was inspired mainly by the willingness to get to know something new and promising. and to educate myself about it. My nearest relatives also motivated me a lot.
RL You’ve attracted sponsorship and advertising from major companies. Was it easy for you to negotiate and deal with them? Did they realise you are still at school?
MN  I think it does not matter how old you are. What really counts is what you can offer and with what you can attract potential sponsors.

RL What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned as a result of this project?
MN  Regularity and making a good, cohesive organization. And by the way I gained much experience during the process of creating such a serious project.
RL Did anyone treat you unfairly or badly in the course of your project? How did you deal with it?
MN Generally we work in friendly atmosphere. I strive for a perfect atmosphere where there are no conflicts at all. It helps in accomplishing tasks and ensures that everything goes in its proper direction.
RL You mentioned that the site is more of a hobby than a business - do you believe that sites such as yours can be profitable or does making money out of a site make it less attractive to visitors? 
MN  I believe that not everyone who starts from scratch aims to earn money out of it. Of course, for the site to function we need some funds. However, thanks to people who work with me, we can make our hopes come true. I am sure that earning money will not negatively influence our work. Just the opposite – it will help in developing the site faster and any other ideas which are going to be consecutively introduced will let us implement some innovations.

RL What advice would you give to someone of your age or younger who is considering a similar project, or starting their own business?
MN Much patience and singleness of purpose.

RL You mentioned that you want to start a web page design business, and that you have already done web pages for some companies. How do you intend to compete with the many other companies that are active in this area already?
MN The two important things are professionalism and the way of presenting your work. I do not like being formulaic. This is why I am trying to create something which is worth people’s attention. 
RL Were there any remarkable memories when you realised that your site was going to be successful? How did you feel?
MN I just felt satisfaction. But it is worth noting that the site is not only the effect of my effort but also our editors’.
RL Have your family, friends and school been supportive of your business ideas, or do you feel under some social pressure to do a “normal” job?
MN  Sometimes they were trying to back me up or at least not to disturb. I do not feel under pressure to do some other, more common job.

RL If you are successful (as I am sure you will be) and make a good income out of your first business will you start other businesses, or take time off relax and have fun?
MN If what I am working on thrives and goes as planned, then for sure I won’t refuse a long rest for myself.

Thanks again and congratulations. For an excellent 3-minute summary of the secrets of success visit Richard St John inspiring TED speech here. TEDx is coming to Krakow


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