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This article was published on August 5, 2008

    Sorry Daniel Brusilovsky, teenage charm isn’t here to stay

    Sorry Daniel Brusilovsky, teenage charm isn’t here to stay
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    The press loves entrepreneurial kids. Every time a young kid pulls something special off, a newspaper is eager enough to give the lad an wide-spread page. The new press, bloggers et al, seem to have the same habit. Teenage entrepreneurs like Jessica Mah (who was a speaker at The Next Web Conference) and Zooomr founder Kristopher Tate have been receiving a fair amount of attention, partly thanks to their age. And now there’s a new kid on the block. His name? Daniel Brusilovsky. His age? 15 years.

    Daniel has just launched Teens in Tech, a publication platform for kids who fancy new media, in private alpha mode. Basically, it’s a WordPress multi-user installation with a fancy layer – really cool logo – and a forum.

    Daniel Brusilovsky at Supernova

    As TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid notes, Daniel seems to know everybody. His board of advisers includes web influentials like Loic Le Meur, Robert Scoble (old enough to be Brusilovsky’s father) and some folks at TechCrunch and Apple. When we – meaning The Next Web team – visited the Valley in June, we met Daniel at Seemics’ HQ and Supernova.

    Loic Le Meur told us he expects the young entrepreneur to create value by creating a community of young folks engaged in new media and tech and that is a great platform for companies (like Seesmic) to plug their service. The old marketing formula still works: teenagers have plenty of money to spend and they’re the future. A 1000 teenagers armed with webcams would be a welcome crowd to the Seesmic community.

    Le Meur and others also know that young lads like Brusilovsky still attract enough media attention to create a hype. A young entrepreneur is just plain charming – so the group of web influentials happily welcome him in their circle of Internet fame and fortune.

    The question is though whether the public thinks the same. Kincaid’s post got 159 visitors to comment and most of them were angry. Like Zack Meyerson:

    I can’t respect this kid, or his company. As Luke said, its a complete joke. I have no intentions at even visiting Teens in Tech. Also, watch your acronym, people may think its a naughty site.
    This post has also lowered the journalistic quality on TechCrunch.
    Daniel Brusilwhatever has only been featured because of his connections. Shame on TC.

    We experienced the same when we posted the announcement about Jessica Mah coming to Amsterdam:

    She is 17, ok, and made high school with 15 years. 600 people read her blog, and dices will be thrown to see if someone will be talking about her in 2 years time. She is not a great speaker! (Drivingsouth)

    Although some people support Mah and Brusilovsky – “I wish I was that productive back then”, the general opinion seems to be that the young entrepreneur must really have something special to offer. They get the attention, but then they have to prove they’re worth it. I’m sorry Brusilovsky, but the teenage charm factor isn’t here to stay.