YOU’LL never understand real stress until you’ve tried parking in the CBD of any Australian city. It’s expensive, hard to come by and often an unavoidable nightmare.
But Rylan Kindness, a 16-year-old entrepreneur from Brisbane, thinks he might have the answer to one of our biggest first world problems.
Inspired by his parents’ personal frustration at trying to find a park in the Brisbane CBD, Rylan decided to come up with his own idea — an idea he’s since dubbed as Parking Deals Australia.
It was after Rylan realised his parents were spending hours to try and find parking deals in the city that he came up with the idea for a centralised system. A system that takes the hassle away by showing users the best price for parking in the area they want and offering users a daily deal with a discount.
Rylan now doubles as a high school student and the CEO of Parking Deals Australia, a role he took on four months ago when he launched the business from his bedroom.
The teenager has one year left of school but admitted high school was something he is only sticking with because of his parents.
“I’ve never wanted to follow a university pathway. You can’t learn the hustle and get a real understanding for business out of a text book. I mostly want to focus on the business. I do easy subjects I know I can do well in. I would drop out but my parents don’t want me to,” he told news.com.au.
The teenage businessman now does most of his work at Brisbane’s Little Tokyo Two, a co-working space where he’s mentored by entrepreneur Jock Fairweather.
It’s at that hub for young creatives that Rylan has finetuned the tech side of his site, getting help from fellow business-minded youngsters to build his idea into something a little meatier.
“I’m more an idea and implementing person. This is the first business that I’ve really put a lot of time and effort into,” he said.
Parking Deals Australia isn’t even Rylan’s first business. When he was barely 11, Rylan came up with an idea to sell wholesale scooter parts online, purely because he just wanted some extra money. On the side, he’s succeeding in other passions too.
And despite Rylan clearly being a high-achiever and having a knack for business, he admitted it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
“I’ve learnt so many crazy things through trial and error. Every day I fail somewhere but I always try to get better. My biggest failure was when I first set up everything and thought it was what everyone else would like but it’s a shock when you see people not enjoying what you’re doing. It makes you want to cry a little bit but then you polish the product and keep going,” he said.
While Rylan didn’t want to say exactly how much his now-bustling company is worth, he did admit he’s making a tidy profit.
“I earn more in one day than I was earning for three months work in a cafe but I’m investing it all back into the business. It’s not like I really need the money, I’m more focused on seeing how far I can take it. I still live with my parents and what I’ve learnt is that if you’re starting a business just to make money, you’re definitely going to fail. I’m there to help millions of people and that’s what really gets me going,” he said.
THE NEXT STEP
Ironically, Rylan, the CEO of a parking business, doesn’t even have his learner’s permit and has no intention of getting it in the future.
“I’m slack. I’ve never parked a car in my life but somehow I really enjoy running a parking business,” he said.
Rylan’s goal with Parking Deals Australia is to take it countrywide.
“We want to be everyone’s second step in their parking journey and save millions of people millions of dollars,” he said.
The company has already partnered with Kerb, an international organisation that dubs itself the AirBnb of carparks. Kerb, which has holdings all around Australia and Asia, will be instrumental in helping Rylan go global.
“They really enjoy our services and we already have a lot of people that are really sick of normal parking services,” he said.
Parking Deals Australia has just expanded from Brisbane to Sydney and is in talks with a number of major parking companies to help them integrate into Sydney’s notoriously lucrative market.
Sydney is the second most expensive place to park in Australia, after Brisbane. By early next year, Rylan is hoping they’ll be in Melbourne and by the end of 2018 Parking Deals will be Australia wide.
And to anyone saying 16-year-old Rylan might be too young to be the CEO of a business, he says there’s no time like the present.
“Being 16 is the prime time of your life. No matter how hard you fail, the worst thing that could happen is you just have to go back to live with your parents. If you wake up every single day and live and breathe what you’re doing, like I am, then your business is going to succeed. You might not see returns for two years and it’ll be s**t but you have to enjoy that,” he said.