The next Mark Zuckerberg? Arran Rice
Advances in technology mean it’s never been easier to be an entrepreneur. Inspired by the success of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, many are still are school when they start building their business. All week we are profiling young 'tech tycoons' who could be the next big thing in tech.
He’s not old enough to vote or buy a pint in a pub, but at 17 years old Arran Rice is heading up a company with a turnover of £2.2m and has created more than 500 websites.
Since the age of ten when he got his first email address, Rice has always had an interest in what the internet can offer.
When he was 12 he began making YouTube channels and websites and then began writing online about games.
He noticed the content he was producing about one game in particular was getting a significant amount of traffic, so he decided to create a site for this game only with guides, hints and cheats.
This gradually developed into a range of entertainment-led websites including areas such as sports, cars, celebrity gossip and travel.
“I noticed that bite-sized content was getting lots of traction, especially in 2014, so in January 2015 I thought I’d make my own bite-sized content site,” he says.
“It then just exploded.”
He now manages an empire of websites, mostly entertainment related, which provide shareable, bite-sized content – and all in-between his college work.
All are based on Wordpress, an easy-to-customise blogging platform, and although he does know HTML, most of it the work is left to developers so he can focus on growing his flourishing business Wizzed Media .
“In the past, I’ve always done gaming websites so I decided to look at it from the other way and came up with the idea of making my own game,” he says.
The creation of a game would be outsourced to developers, and Rice is looking at the possibility of securing investment for its growth, although it’s still a work in progress.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to go ahead with it right now, it’s being designed and then I’ll decide if I want to follow through with it,” he says.
Advances in technology have led to big changes and big opportunities. He cites changes in marketing and mobile phones as particularly significant.
“I can run much of my work from my phone nowadays while I’m on the move,” he highlights.
Rice’s long-term goal is simple: to run a successful company and maintain a good work/life balance, and he’s keen to share what he’s learned with others looking to create a tech-led business.
“I’d say that for every 10 projects I do, only one will be successful so some advice I’d give would be to not give up,” he says.
“Not everything is going to work the first time, or some things might not work at all – you just have to keep on at it.”