How I became CTO of a publicly traded company at 24

Introducing Matthew Eagen, CTO. I was broke and lonely yet I had 6 million shares of stock in the company and I was the CTO. I was still broke because the shares were restricted so they could not be sold until a certain time period had passed. I had been taken advantage of by older, more experienced “businessmen”. I didn’t know a thing about restricted shares of stock.

During high school I was fortunate enough to experience college as a junior. I was in the honors/AP/advanced courses from 7th grade until graduation. So junior year comes around and I am given the opportunity to take half days at high school if I enroll in at least one class per semester at the local community college. How could I turn down half days at high school?

So, I decided to take web design I and then web design II as my college classes. I am a quick learner and grasped the concepts fairly quickly. I was out performing most of the other students. There was this one really pretty girl who I had a semi-crush on. I forget her name but she was hot and a full grown woman. I was a very shy 17 year old boy at the time.

One day after class she approaches me and asks me how I pick up the lessons so quickly. I’m looking at her like “uh I don’t know… I just do.” I managed to keep a conversation going with her as we walk to the parking lot. I really didn’t want her to see my car. The trunk was held closed by a bungie cord. Long story. I will talk about that another time. It made me feel good that the hottest girl in the class came to me for help. I was shocked. Maybe it was my green eyes and my baby face.

After I graduated high school, I attended the same college with a full course load. I couldn’t stand any of the classes that didn’t have to do with computers or technology. They were boring to me and I stopped going. What a waste of money. After four semesters, I managed to earn about half the credits I needed to get my associates degree (don’t forget about the classes I took in high school which I passed). An associates degree should only take four semesters to earn and I even had a 12 credit head start. Wowzers.

I was working two jobs that summer: one carpeting dorms at Rutgers and the other delivering pizza. I wanted money. I still do. One night while working at the pizza delivery job, a guy in a Range Rover pulls in the parking lot. I was outside. He rolls down the window and calls me over. I didn’t know what to think. Did I run over his cat? Did I deliver his pizza cold? What was up? He asks me if I know anyone who would want to be his assistant and he gives me his phone number.

I called him the next day. There was no way I was passing on his number without seeing what it was about for myself first. It turned out this guy was into webcasting, internet marketing, and web design. Web design, how ironic. I worked with this guy for a few years as his assistant and I was taking in anything I could learn. This guy had a small company and I was quickly becoming his right hand man. I traveled a little, met a few celebrities along the way and learned a bit, although there is always more to learn.

A few years later, the company was given the opportunity to go public on the NASDAQ through a reverse merger. I was the CTO.


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