While many 18-year-olds struggle to attend their college classes, Tyler Gottlieb, Colorado State University freshman, takes on a full mechanical engineering course load and serves as CEO of Trade.com, an online trading company he copyrighted this year.
Trade.com provides a way for college students to locate people in their area to trade textbooks, furniture and other items, as many students are low on funds. Gottlieb came up with the idea while playing video games with a group of friends.
“Right now money is tight, we are finally coming out of a recession,” Gottlieb said. “People will be investing in other things, like big necessities, and having a lot of littler (smaller) things just laying around. I think that this could be the perfect time to have something like this (Trade.com).”
The company has a warehouse that serves as a center where customers can ship to without having to provide their own address to the prospective trader, ensuring the safety of users.
“The demographic (for Trade.com) is college students,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb conducted a survey of 2,900 people to see who was interested in the market. The results showed approximately 93 percent of respondents would rather trade their used goods for something used than purchase new goods.
T.J. Francomano, CSU sophomore and friend of Gottlieb, said he was impressed by Gottlieb’s drive and perseverance in leading the business.
“The way Tyler lives his life is like a bricklayer,” Francomano said. “Every day, he tries his best to move forward and lay the brick down as sturdy and even as he can. Someday he will reach the goal and build a wall.”
Gottlieb has taken all legal action required to maintain the rights to his website, and chose to remain unaffiliated with Colorado State University.
“I’ve seen how CSU handles situations, and I feel like they are more greedy (greedier) than they are supportive of their students,” Gottlieb said. “I strongly disagree with everything they do in their process.”
Gottlieb’s drive took Trade.com to Chicago, Illinois, where the company has expanded with a programmer, marketing team and warehouse.
Stein Christensen, a CSU freshman majoring in finance, has signed up as the programmer of Trade.com. Christensen interviews developers from Colorado all the way to India to be a part of the developing team for the website.
“When I learned about the vision for the company, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘Why hasn’t this been done yet?’” Christensen said. “I was instantly hooked on the idea and wanted to help make this company’s dream come to life.”
With plans to officially launch in early 2015, Gottlieb and his team are excited to bring this idea to their peers.
“It’s more about how cool it could be for me right now,” Gottlieb said. “I don’t really care about the dividends as much. I just know that it is going to be a cool idea, and I would like people to be able to use it.”
Collegian Reporter Danielle Jauregui can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.