This 12-year-old iPhone developer has a couple of all-too-rare things going for him: A solid product idea, and a strong ability to communicate with the public. The rest of the tech world should watch his TED talk—yes, his TED talk; what, haven't you done one?—and learn.
The kid, Thomas Suarez, launched two iPhone apps, an Earth-shaped fortune teller, and his big hit, Bustin Jieber, a whack-a-mole Justin Bieber game. He also created a company, CarrotCorp ("Uploading pictures will never be the same"), and an App Club at his Los Angeles-area school, where he teaches other kids to make iPhone apps. He recently spoke at a Technology Entertainment and Design conference in Manhattan Beach, California. Not only does he have a confident and charming tone—"He speaks like [Apple bigwig] Scott Forstall," wrote one commenter at TheNextWeb—but he makes a solid product that actually enriches the lives of ordinary people. Sure, Bustin Jieber appeals mainly to tweens, but it doesn't try and raid your Facebook account, spam your Twitter, or sell your location. It's also never going to need to "pivot" and become something entirely different.
Suarez is not just a smart 12 year-old, he's an antidote to the sort of overcomplicated overreaching that's become so common in the tech bubble. He is, at least, until gets $10 million in venture backing from Sequoia Capital or whatever.