There are startups whose entire premise is a brilliant idea or innovation, and there are startups powered by enterprising founders who push it forward on the strength of their hard work, connections and the sheer force of their personality. And then there is SocialBusinessCard.me, in a league of its own in terms of the concept and its creator.
The Internet is the world’s biggest incubator for small businesses and startups, home-based or otherwise. Everyone and anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection can start and run a business, and everyone has a social media profile – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. What many don’t have is a business card, and that’s mainly because you need to take the trouble to design one first.
But now you don’t, because you can use SocialBusinesscard.me, a web app that pulls data out of your chosen social media profile and converts it into a business card. You can then customize it further by editing text. When you’re done and satisfied with your new business card, upload it and get a batch of cards printed through one of the many online printers who accept designs and send you the cards.
The whole thing is a simple 3-step process. You choose your social network, provide the login details and let the app do its thing. Edit the text if required and then download the final design it as a .png image file. This file can then be uploaded to business card makers such as Vistaprint, Moo or Zazzle where you pay to get a batch of cards printed. Use of SocialBusinessCard.me is completely free.
It’s a neat app, and fills an existing need for designing business cards at no cost while promoting the user’s social profile and cover photos. And here’s the kicker – the app, written in PHP, was coded in eight hours straight by a high school senior.
Of course, this is not Stephen Ou’s first app and he’s not your run of the mill student geek either. He’s got seven successful apps in his track record before this one, and has been featured in mainstream and online magazines including Forbes, TechCrunch, Mashable, Gizmodo and The Atlantic. One of his most popular apps is iTunes Instant, which he created at the ripe old age of 15 and got himself featured on Mashable, Gizmodo, ZDnet, Fast Company and other magazines and sites for his efforts.
He also does freelance work for companies around the world, and his client list includes Warner Music Australia and Asia-Pacific, eBroadcast and Alameda County, among others.
Stephen has been named as one of the top 10 most inspirational entrepreneurs under 21. You can read more about him on his own website, but Stephen’s story leading up to his latest creation of SocialBusinessCard.me bears retelling anyway.
He was born in Kaiping, China, not far from Hong Kong. Up until five years ago, he didn’t speak or understand English. He didn’t know any programming either. Then he came to the U.S. in July 2008 and his first challenge was to learn English. This he tackled in about a year, ending up with a Student of the Month award for working hard to improve his English skills.
More apps and paid gigs followed, but Stephen is now angling to get into Stanford. What happens next is an open question, but he’s already got a very impressive business card.