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Gabelli junior’s business project hits big on the Internet

Stories | Sep 16, 2011 |

When Mark Zuckerberg wrote the lines of code that would become Facebook, he wasn’t intending to change the way the world communicates — he was just having fun, chasing an idea. The giant ripples in the pool came later. Gabelli junior Zach Kingsley now has a bit of an idea of what that feels like, after a business infographic he created spontaneously went viral this week, training tens of thousands of eyes from all over the world on his work.

The attention-getting infographic made by Zach Kingsley ’13

What piqued Zach’s imagination was not social interaction, like Zuckerberg’s, but rather the economics of a limited-edition product. Zach had read about the collaboration between Nike and the Michael J. Fox Foundation that had produced only 1,500 pairs of Back to the Future-themed sneakers that would be auctioned on eBay as a benefit.

“There was a massive amount of hype over the prices these would garner on the open market, and I found it to be an intriguing economic situation,” Zach said.

He tracked the results of every auction to see whether the sale figures lived up to the frenzy. Then he plotted them on a graph, and, at the urging of two friends, e-mailed it to a style web site called www.hypebeast.com. He thought nothing of it. The online world thought otherwise.

In the first day alone, more than 10,000 people saw Zach’s graphic on Hypebeast. His findings and the story spread virally on the Internet and, within a day, Zach’s findings were all over fashion and sneaker web sites he never even knew existed, including Complex, Style.com, the U.K.’s Huh Magazine and ThinkContra, to name a few. (Follow the Hypebeast link in the paragraph above to read the original story, and to see a larger version of Zach’s infographic.)

Zach’s story goes to show that there is legitimacy to the increasingly common 2000s-era truism that if you have a great idea, throw it up on the Internet. You never know what might happen.

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