This 16-Year-Old Has 120,000 Twitter Followers, Brighter Future Than You

Dear redundant old-media bigwigs: Meet your eventual replacement, a 16-year-old with gigs as a professional journalist for TechCrunch, a marketing evangelist for Qik and as CEO of his own startup. Also, he's been officially endorsed by Twitter.

A spot on the microblogging service's Suggested User List of accounts for new users has helped Daniel Brusilovsky reach just under 120,000 followers. He's also been officially "Verified" by Twitter Inc., lest someone impersonate the powerful 16-year-old. His influence at the microblogging startup apparently runs deep: he's meeting with Twitter's COO, right now.

At TechCrunch, he's a writer who dabbles in events and business development. He's also the young face of video-casting service Qik and CEO of his own TeensInTech.com. Oh, and he advises at least two other companies.

Brusilovsky's quick ascent contains lessons for the more aged and less accomplished:

  • Don't fit in? Perfect! Brusilovsky was "the only one who needed his parents to pick him up from" a tech conference last year, according to GigaOM. The intervening year has only brought more mainstream success, like joining TechCrunch in June and getting the Twitter stamp of approval.
  • Form a community of similar misfits. TeensInTech is a site for young people as terrifyingly ambitious and energetic as Brusilovsky. They're coming for us all. Soon.
  • "Don't give up." That one's from Brusilovsky. And we do not question Brusilovsky.

Let's just hope this promising kid finishes school and goes on to college. Just because Bill Gates, the founders of Google, the founders of Twitter and the founder of Oracle all dropped out of school doesn't mean it pays, kid.

(Pic by Andrew Mager)