Ben Pasternak, the 16-year-old mastermind behind the popular app Impossible Rush, is at it again. The “teenius” is now the CEO and brains behind a new app debuting April 14, Flogg, that aims to make buying and selling online a breeze. With top Silicon Valley investors backing him up, Pasternak is on his way to living the dream.
Heavy spoke with Pasternak and his publicists on April 5. Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Ben has dropped out of school and moved to New York City by himself. While bored in Science class, Pasternak thought of Impossible Rush and decided that dedicating his life to apps was more beneficial than staying in high school. The app has trended to the number one spot in the App Store Worldwide and has been downloaded over 1.2 million times. It reached #16 in the United States, trending even higher than Tinder and Twitter. He sold the rights to Impossible Rush for just $200, but Ben said, “I never intended to make money from it, but obviously things went very well.”
Pasternak followed the app with another game, Impossible Dial, which proved to be another success, reaching the number one spot in multiple countries.
Here’s what you need to know now:
The Inspiration Behind Flogg
During the summer of 2015, Pasternak was invited to the Google- and MIT-sponsored event Hack Generation Y. Together with his parents, he traveled to Silicon valley. His parents promised him that if he got venture capital funding for his new app idea, they would allow him to stay. The meetings went well, and Flogg has attracted funding from venture capitalists that are behind some of the most successful mobile application leaders in the world, including Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr and Grubhub. And so the promise became a reality, and Flogg is now officially headquartered in NYC. When asked what inspired Flogg, Pasternak said:
I kept seeing my friends from Sydney, Australia, and they were using these local, community-based Facebook groups. For example, Sydney Buy and Sell, because it’s a trustworthy environment. Facebook wasn’t doing much to support the users or providing many tools to help out with the groups. People were having bad experiences with it. So, I set out to make a home for those types of posting groups. It should be fun, and cool! People have been buying and selling for years, so I don’t get why it should be so complicated, messy, and ugly. Flogg is the opposite of that … it’s clean and simple.
What Flogg Entails & How it Works
The company states, “Flogg is a social community and virtual marketplace for today’s mobile generation to connect through the items they own. Flogg leverages Facebook to enable people to discover, buy, and sell cool, relevant things with their friends and network. More than just a marketplace, Flogg is the place for people to express themselves through the things they have or want to have.”
With only four steps to upload merchandise, Flogg allows users to easily sell, buy and barter with friends and their community. It aims to make it easy to not only find what you want from people you know, but also features user profiles that include a photo, full name and common Facebook connections. The users can choose to chat privately in real-time and/or agree to meet in person to finalize transactions. You can download the app here.
Pasternak’s publicist, Dini von Mueffling, who is also the founder of Dini Von Mueffling Communications, told Heavy:
Some of the most incredible ideas that are still successful today like Facebook have come out of the minds of teenagers. And teenagers streamlining what’s very often a very complicated, heavy or complex process, that doesn’t need to be. Ebay has 26 steps, while Flogg has just 4.
Pasternak plans to focus on Flogg over the next couple of years. “Hopefully in 10-20 years, I can start my own ‘Apple,'” Ben told Heavy.