He skipped four grades as a child, graduated college at the age of 18, and became the youngest CEO ever to raise venture capital. How did he do it? Brian Wong sums it up succinctly: He's Asian. He references the recent WSJ article by Amy Chua, "Why Chinese mothers are superior," by way of explanation as to how one should go about trying to create a child prodigy.
Canadian-born Wong actually started designing when he was eleven and was off like a rocket from there, skipping grades and graduating early, but he noted that his parents didn't want him to, fearing for his emotional and social health. But when I grilled him on what his parents did to make him the young phenomenon he became, he revealed that there is no patented, top secret recipe--just love and a solid home life.
Curiously, we got onto the topic of growing up and leaving home and Brian mentioned that in Singapore, where he spent six months on an exchange trip, it's common for people to live with their parents until they're thirty (ugh), which opened his eyes to the strangeness of his own situation. But eventually, he left home for the simple fact that he needed to be where his talents would be best served, so he left Canada and moved to sunny California.
His age, he believes, was less of a hindrance than an enabler. The business community is taking greater notice of young people and he believes that that helped him along his path to Kiip. These days, he doesn't have any one entrepreneurial role model, but believes that different paths work for different people.