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Cloud Businesses Perl

15-Year-Old Sells Startup To ActiveState 140

jcasman writes "Some entrepreneurs wait a lifetime to experience the thrill of selling their startup companies. Daniil Kulchenko, a Seattle area high school student, accomplished that milestone at the age of 15. Kulchenko today announced that he's sold his startup, a cloud-based computing company known as Phenona, to Vancouver, B.C.-based ActiveState in a deal of undisclosed size."
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15-Year-Old Sells Startup To ActiveState

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  • by Gr33nJ3ll0 ( 1367543 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @10:07PM (#36445242)
    Slashdot's work is done!
    • This is still news for nerds... remember when the 15-20 year olds ran the tech world? Unfortunately for our 15-20 year old readers, they do not remember, because it has been so long.

  • the story here.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metalmaster ( 1005171 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @10:16PM (#36445306)
    the kid is 15. Another few years and this wouldnt have been newsworthy. It's good to see young people taking initiative though. Not only did he have the business sense to do something, but it was obviously something someone else thought could be worthwhile enough to purchase. kudos indeed. I certainly wasnt thinking like this 8 years ago.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      the kid is 15. Another few years and this wouldnt have been newsworthy.

      Wrong. If it was an 18-year-old girl, we'd be proposing to her with haikus and fanfic letters,.

      (captcha: pervert)

    • I'm impressed. At 15 I was mowing the neighbors' grass and haven't been truly self-employed since.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Seumas ( 6865 )

        Don't be too hard on yourself. Was your dad a robotics and AI researcher with all sorts of resources and connections to help you do something more than mow lawns? Probably not.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gregrah ( 1605707 )
          I truly do not understand where you are coming from when you feel the need to repeat this same comment in 3 different places. What is your beef with this kid? What is your point, exactly?

          As others have mentioned, you come across as being extremely jealous. And for an adult to make jealous comments about a teenager - well what can I say except that those comments reflect far worse on the adult, and are generally indicative of an adult who has had issues adapting to life as a grown-up.

          Feel free to co
          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Seumas ( 6865 )

            Right, the only response acceptable is "wow, amazing". It's certainly not worth pushing the point that the kid next door to you with less accomplished and connected parents won't have any such opportunity.

            Like this kid, I found an opportunity and exploited it at a young age, which I was able to make into a great and very fulfilling career. I didn't have the parents aspect, but I did benefit from rare fortunate circumstances that do not fall most teenagers who *do* have an interest or even a passion in somet

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No offense, but the only thing stopping you is the belief that you can accomplish your goal.

        Follow your dreams if you have them, don't wait, life it way too short.

        I didn't wait, because my family wasn't exactly rollin' in the cash and at 13 I mowed lawns, and at 14 I did the early am paper route thing and hated it, so I started 2 businesses while still in middle school (only to be shut down by my school administration through a ban on my products), and in high school I started another business that I ran fo

        • No offense, but the only thing stopping you is the belief that you can accomplish your goal.

          It's true. I believe I can go out for a walk this afternoon, and now I can't move my legs.

    • The reality of it is, the kid didn't actually do all of this.

      If you go to the site for the product, its very clear that its no 15 year olds company.

      At best, he took some of daddies money and told some other people to make some shit and his parents called it a company, his idea possibly developed to what it is now by some actual developer hired to work for him.

      Whats likely is that his parents and he worked on this together, and the parents are calling it 'his company', but it would never exist without them.


      • I'd prove your points wrong, but that'd take 10 mins of my time and I'd rather not dignify this with a response.
        • You already proved his points wrong - your apostrophes and commas are all correctly placed. For an average Slashdot commenter, that's virtually unsurmountable achievement as it is.

          Of course, judging by your name, you're Russian or Ukrainian, so you've actually had to learn English. So maybe it doesn't really count. ~

  • Nice to see a kid be successful. I hope this works out great for him and his family.
    • Most likely some VC has been cheated by the "cloud" related buzzwords into this fad. The problem is that anything involving words like "interner server", "cloud", "Ruby on rails" is too flashi, incomprehensible, uber-smart, and, exactly that irresistible thing, they are in the market for.. (driven by some wet dreams of bumping into Google 2.0)
      • by matija ( 27014 )

        Activestate are not some unsophisticated VC who can be "cheated by cloud related buzzwords". They package their own distribution of Perl, and they have a very good editor/IDE for Perl/Python/Ruby.

        They know their Ruby and Perl markets quite well, and if they think something is worth investing in, it's because they think the technology is the market needs,
        and they can sell.

  • Basically it describes Perl web app hosting service.
    • Re:"Cloud-based" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @11:14PM (#36445654) Homepage Journal

      Sounds like a deployment service. From their page:

      So what is Phenona?

      Imagine this. You've spent hours and hours coding the perfect Catalyst (or Dancer, or Mojolicious, or, hell, CGI) application. You're using DBIx::Class with a MySQL database to store user info, and memcached in front of it for performance.

      You now want it out there, for the world to see and use. Here's a deployment scenario for a good web application:

            1. Get a server. These days you might go for some slow shared hosting, or maybe a VPS, or perhaps EC2 or Rackspace.
            2. Install Perl and spend a few hours installing all the dependencies of your project. (Ever installed Catalyst before? It's not for the faint of heart.)
            3. Install and configure MySQL, set up users, permissions, databases.
            4. Install and configure memcached.
            5. Set up a backup, redundancy, and failover solution. What would happen if your server went down, data was lost? You'd need to set up more than one server, do failover between them, and do regular backups to protect valuable user data.
            6. Set up cron jobs and background worker processes to work on long-running jobs.
            7. Set up a caching server, such as Varnish or Squid, to improve performance of your app.
            8. Secure your server, open the necessary ports for outside access.
            9. Deploy and test your code.
          10. Manage system updates, app monitoring, and downtime yourself.

      Hours, days, even weeks of time. Potentially hundreds of dollars. Or you could type this:

      cpanm Phenona
      phenona create MyApp
      git push phenona master
      phenona deploy production

      Yes. Those four commands encompass every one of the bullet points I listed above. The final command inserts your app into the grid.

      • by hey ( 83763 )

        Or a meta-package.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    His parents can be worried now, becasue all of the kids with monis in my school had problems with drugs, smokes, games and alk. I hope someone will manage his monis before he can understand how success corrupts the mind.

    On the positive side. It is cool that someone takes a 15 year old boy seriously enough to buy a company from him.

    Kudos from

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How can this be? Does he have a bachelor's degree? I've been told university is a noble institution, not profit-based at all, that teaches essential things that can only be taught in a a classroom with a bearded windbag sleeping at the front?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tools from the "What is Phenona" page: Catalyst, Heroku, Dancer, Mojolicious, DBIx::Class, Varnish, Squid, beanstalkd, TheSchwartz, Redis.

    Seriously, web developers, can the names of your shit please give some sort of superficial indication of what the hell they do?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Seumas ( 6865 )

      It seems kind of obvious what DBIx::Class does.

    • What? No props to JizzMop, CumRag, and SpermBurp?!!?!?
    • by makomk ( 752139 )

      Well, I think TheSchwartz's name was basically Brad Fitzgerald's idea of a joke back when he worked at Livejournal. (He has a blog post about it somewhere.) No idea about the rest of them though...

    • by tixxit ( 1107127 )
      It is incredibly hard to give meaningful names to things. What would you have us do? "Oh, look, I've created 'PHP Web Framework #340203411: More jQuery'" That said, some of the names aren't terrible. That said, I think Varnish and Squid are both good names for what they are.
  • by IoanaF ( 2265896 )
    Lucky bastard.
    • Re:Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by capnkr ( 1153623 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @11:41PM (#36445808)
      Doesn't seem like 'luck' had much to do with it, unless you are referring to the definition of luck which says "Luck is what happens when Preparation meets Opportunity..."

      Would be it that *I* had been as knowledgeable and motivated at his age... :)
      • I've always found that definition to be somewhat recursive. How is Opportunity not based at least in part on Luck? Maybe there are very rare exceptions where a truly extraordinary individual 100% created his own opportunities, but I doubt it.
      • by marnues ( 906739 )
        Is it luck or opportunity that picks your parents?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A 15 year old can't even sign binding contracts, let alone form or sell a company. This smells like a slashvertisement.

    • I was just going to post something about that (contracts). Did he have to get a note from his parents? It could be that someone over 18, the parents perhaps, were the C-level execs and he was just the majority shareholder.
    • by jimmypw ( 895344 )

      I don't believe he was 15 either. FTFA:

      I was working on a client project back in 2009, a Craigslist aggregator which I wrote in Catalyst, and spent a large portion of my vacation in Mexico trying to get it to work on the client's IIS server. It was a nightmare....

      That would have made him about 13 at the time. What company employ's a 13 year old to work on expensive company servers. Regardless if he is a prodigy.

      • by haxwk ( 2268722 )
        I had the same feeling when I read this. I just don't understand how any kid could even find the time to become so fluent in so many technical areas. Unless of course his parents force fed him source code since he was an infant; which is probably the case if he is a real person. But this whole thing does seem like it's some sort of advertising conspiracy for ActiveState and their new program (which they probably developed). I checked out the kids twitter account and it does seem like it's written by a 35 ye
        • Meet Daniil Kulchenko. He was an HTML programmer at age six. He was a freelance Linux systems administrator at 11. And at 15, he founded his first business: Phenona, a platform-as-a-service for building and hosting Perl applications.

          There's a pic of him in there.

          • by haxwk ( 2268722 )
            And that's the same exact pic of "Anonymous Male Teen" that's on /.'s summarized article, which is also the same as the guy's twitter account. And this is basically the same exact article, you've provided no additional information. I still think this kid doesn't exist.
        • by troytop ( 194882 )

          Unless of course his parents force fed him source code since he was an infant; which is probably the case if he is a real person.

          Well, he is the son of this guy [], who has been known to write some seriously gnarly code []:

          The source code is notoriously complex, a mark of the seriously ingenious Paul Kulchenko who created SOAP:Lite. As a result baffles most inexperienced Perl programmers, and indeed sends many of them running in shear terror. I myself am given the highest respect in my office for signing up to maintain the module for this fact alone - I work with some of the brightest and most experienced Perl programmers in the industry and they all look at SOAP::Lite in awe. And not the "good" kind of awe, the kind of awe that gives people a healthy, but fearful respect.

        • Yeah, the El Reg interview was an audio interview, I was also on KOMO News Radio, local here in Seattle. What else do you need, some photos off my Facebook profile? ;)
          • by haxwk ( 2268722 )

            Yeah, the El Reg interview was an audio interview, I was also on KOMO News Radio, local here in Seattle. What else do you need, some photos off my Facebook profile? ;)

            Not even a facebook profile would completely convince me. But the audio file, and that you were on a radio station that I listen to often(I'm actually from Seattle too), is proof enough. Usually I'm just skeptical to be skeptical and it only allows me to be more confident about the conclusions I draw. I'm sorry I have to take such an incredulous stance, but it's in my nature.

            Congrats on achieving so much so early in life though. I'm sure we'll all hear about a lot more of your achievements down the road.

          • Congratulations on your achievement, and may there be more in your future.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Since when does the state of Washington put an age limit on who can incorporate, form an LLC, or just run a plain old sole proprietorship? ActiveState bears some risk that he will choose to void the sale before he turns 18. Apparently that is a risk they are willing to take.

  • I suck (Score:5, Funny)

    by beckyshaw ( 2268102 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @11:59PM (#36445888) Homepage
    I can't even sell a piece of junk on Ebay
  • This is kinda neat. I know it's a copy of what Heroku and co have already done, and I've no love of PERL, but give the guy some cred. 15 year old or no, if this all works as stated it's a nice piece of hackery.
  • This kid would certainly have a bright future as a salesman.

  • This is the 21st century version of the shoe-shine boy giving stock advice. It's clear now we're in for another tech bubble fiasco.

  • Hey, i programmed perl when this guy was born.....

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith