Interview: Anthony Humay

The Student Business Owner
Photo by Rachel Coward

Photo by Rachel Coward

Sammamish resident Anthony Humay is a senior at Eastlake High School, but there’s more than soccer and academics behind this teen. With the support of his parents, he applied for and obtained a business license when he was just 13 years old.

“I’m definitely not the first teen that has created iOS apps or a business. Wherever you are, as long as you have internet access, you can do incredible things. You can buy your own domain name and put up your own stuff,” Humay said. “The accessibility of technology translates to the ability to create anything.”

He adapted his love for mobile games and started Midzy, an online social polling site that he maintains with the help of independent contractors. In the long term, he’s interested in big data and data analytics. Right now, his sights are set on Silicon Valley and Stanford University, when he graduates high school this spring.

Q: Starting a business at the age of 13 is unusual. Why Midzy?
A: I always had an interest in making things. I wanted to make iOS games, and after a while I realized that liking to play games wasn’t the same as being able to make them well. I took one of the concepts, a trivia game app, and turned that into Midzy. I made it into a social polling platform, and I really focused on making it simple where anyone could come and create a poll on any topic and be a part of a community of pollers.

Q: How do you manage running a company, attending Eastlake High School, and playing soccer at the same time?
A: I’m really busy, but every day after school, I’m at least able to dedicate an hour and then normally when I’m done with everything at the end of the day I can give another hour. I think a lot of it is just organizing your day and planning ahead. If there’s a big soccer game, I have to do more Midzy one day. Or if there’s a test coming up I have to make sure I’m giving enough time to study. It’s been tough to juggle, but I guess I’ve enjoyed the challenge. I feel like it’s better than having nothing to do.

Q: What’s your favorite productivity hack?
A: Don’t listen to music. For me, it just ends up being distracting, and it’s better if you pull out the headphones.

Q: What is the most creative product on the market right now?
A: Autonomous cars. Electric cars are going to be big in the future, so Tesla’s software combined with their semi-autonomous cars is the most creative product right now.

Q: What has surprised you in the process of creating and maintaining Midzy?
A: How accessible everything was to me and that there is such an active network and community out there. I didn’t think people would be so responsive when I asked for help, like reaching out to my mentor (Passport Unlimited CEO Roger Blier). I didn’t think he’d be so helpful and willing to guide me. I think most kids don’t know that it’s not really something that’s out of their range.

Q: You have said that you want to change the Internet. Can you tell us more about that?
A: When I was in eighth grade I was really ambitious, and I still am today, but those were my original words. I think I kept it on there because I really do want to do big things with this. I really think that social media is a good area to innovate and it has a lot of potential. Wherever people are, if you have a site or product that people use a lot and give their opinions on, that’s something that is really valuable.

Q: What inspires you?
A: In general, what motivates and inspires me to be active is seeing where I’m growing up. I’m not raised in poverty so I have these advantages with technology and creating websites, so I want to use all the resources available to me and not take them for granted. I think part of being grateful for resources is using them. There’s so much potential to do good and I really should try to fulfill that potential.

Q: What advice do you have for someone starting something new?
A: Have confidence that you can create something, and then have the confidence to put it out there. When you get feedback, really use it. The first couple times I was getting tips on my site, I was a little too proud still. You need to have confidence but not to the point where you’re blind to advice and good recommendations.

is the digital content producer at 425 magazine. Email her.
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