What is your favorite
Sam: Foie gras. You
just have to get it prepared well.
Louie: Waffles. I like
Who inspires you and
Sam: My parents. My
dad is a business school professor. And he is a businessman and on
the board of a company. My mom is also inspiring because she worked
in the government and built day care centers. Also, successful
business people like CEOs inspire me. I look up to them and think I
can learn from them.
Louie: My parents
inspire me because they are involved in all this. ... Also, the
thousands of people on the Web who make icons. I always try to make
my icons look as good as theirs.
Most people wait until after college to start a business. But
13-year-olds Sam Kaplan and Louie Harboe have big ideas that
The boys started up their company, Tapware, during spring break
this year and have already produced their first iPhone application,
"The Mathmaster." The application drills math problems like a
high-tech set of flashcards.
Louie is the designer, Sam the programmer.
The boys did not realize their age would create such a stir. "I
guess it's unusual to do this at such a young age, but it's not
weird to us," Louie says.
The duo also has separate ventures. Louie has his own company,
www.graphic peel.com, where he
does Web design and specializes in making icons. His clients
include Mac OS. Sam is a programmer for Foodie Registry, an online
registry for restaurant certificates.
With so many responsibilities, how do these Chicago boys balance
school, work and a social life? "I think it sounds like it takes
more time than it does," Sam says.
When they became friends in fifth grade, they started coming up
with ideas and working on different technology projects, Louie
Carol Rubin, Sam's mother, knows just how driven the two boys
are. "They both have the raw talent and raw ingredients," she says.
"They are both very bright. They are both very curious. And they
are both very persistent. When they are interested in something,
they both chase it down."
A few years ago, an Apple Store salesman jokingly said to Sam,
"You don't know how to program?" That same day Sam decided he
wanted to master programming. He took college-level computer
As for Tapware, the duo plans on creating more iPhone
applications. "Tapware is the project of right now," Louie says.
"It's a project we have worked on and will keep working on, but
it's not what our lives will revolve around."
Rubin is certain the boys' passion for technology helps them in
all aspects of their lives. "I think it's important for a child to
have a passion, no matter what it is," she says. "Their passion
expands to everything they do in life."
Do you know a kid age 14 and under who's done something
amazing? E-mail names and information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.