A 17-year-old with a passion for entrepreneurship

Jack Kaufman, who just graduated from Wooster School, was recently published on Forbes.com for an interview he conducted with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Mr. Kaufman has also published ‘The Found A Business Book.’

Jack Kaufman, who just graduated from Wooster School, was recently published on Forbes.com for an interview he conducted with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Mr. Kaufman has also published ‘The Found A Business Book.’

Jack Kaufman has a resume of accomplishments most college graduates dream about.

A published book? Check.

A featured article on Forbes.com? Check.

A list of famous entrepreneur contacts that includes Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel? Check.

Mr. Kaufman, who is 17 and just graduated from Wooster School, says he first became passionate about business, technology and entrepreneurship after seeing The Social Network,  a film about the founding of Facebook, when he was a sophomore.

“That movie sparked my interest in how businesses come to be and motivated me to pursue the field of entrepreneurship,” he said. “Ever since, I’ve been reading all about businesses and various start-up companies.”

His interest drove him to write The Found a Business Book, a 256-page Digital Rights Management-free e-Book that gives readers advice for starting their own business as well as an in depth look at how some modern entrepreneurs started their business and what strategies they used.

For the book, he interviewed 33 of the world’s best entrepreneurs, including Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Spiegel as well as Treehouse co-founder and CEO Ryan Carson and Imgur founder Alan Schaaf.

The first edition of the book was published in April with 16 interviews. Mr. Kaufman spent approximately 200 to 300 hours on the first edition.

However, that was just the beginning. He would go on to clock another 200 hours on the book’s second edition, which he released on June 4th.

As part of a senior independent study that began at the end of April, he expanded the book with 17 additional interviews.

Mr. Kaufman, who graduated from Wooster School  June 14 and will attend Haverford College in the fall, said most of his interviews were done over the phone or on Skype, while some were done by   email exchangea. His first interview, with DuckDuckGo Founder Gabriel Weinberg, was done this way back in December 2012.

He had never conducted an interview before this project, but learned quickly to prepare good questions ahead of time and to let his subjects do the majority of the talking. “All the entrepreneurs I spoke to have amazing stories to share,” he said. “Even though they may not be well known — they’re all important.”

He said the process taught him to face rejection and to persevere through adversity.

“If I hadn’t taken the risks of reaching out, then I wouldn’t have finished the book at all — learning to take risks was the most important learning experience I had during this process,” he said. “A large majority of the entrepreneurs I reached out to didn’t respond or didn’t have time or just weren’t interested and facing that rejection was a real challenge, but it taught me the reward is worth the risk.”

The risk paid extraordinary dividends on June 4, when his interview with Mr. Dorsey — titled “Jack Dorsey’s Five Startup Tips  To A 17-Year-Old Entrepreneur” — earned him a guest post spot on Forbes.com.

Mr. Kaufman said that opportunity came about through his marketing of the book’s second edition, which was part of his independent study at school. Forbes.com was the only website to respond to his media request.

“It’s an incredible feeling and a tremendous honor to be published on such a prominent website,” Mr. Kaufman said. “I really appreciate how they responded to my request and I am just extremely thankful and grateful for the opportunity.”

Despite all the praise and congratulations he’s been receiving, Mr. Kaufman feels motivated to accomplish more.

“I don’t think the attention I’ve been getting has changed me. Sure, it’s an amazing feeling to have such a big accomplishment, but I don’t think having one success means that much,” he said. “This first project is motivation to keep pushing forward and to keep working really hard at my interests so I can accomplish all the goals I have set for myself.”

Mr. Kaufman said he would like to be a software entrepreneur but he is “open to all possibilities.”

In addition, he believes Wooster School has given him the confidence and the experience he needs to succeed in college and beyond.

“I am definitely going to miss my time at Wooster, I really loved it there” he said. “As a student, they gave me the initiative I needed to start my own projects and really follow through on the things I am interested in.”

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