Know what I'd do, with hindsight, if I had successfully closed a company sale at that age? Go to a big college in a nice college town, party my ass off, take a bunch of classes in every subject imaginable, and see what interests me. Then, do something in that area, diploma or no. Not too different from what I ended up doing, but I may have been presented opportunities you may not have, and my goal was an eventual (probably mistaken) career at the time.
Chances are if he ends up in College he will spend his time as efficiently as he did in high school.
No matter what, he will probably love it.
Of course, times were different back then. You had a computer that booted straight into Basic. You didn't need to install anything, register anything or even open up an editor. The prompt was your editor.
All I knew back then was that there was this prompt and this manual. You typed commands, and the computer would reply with something (at first, just 'Syntax Error'). Then I discovered conditionals (and called my parents to show off). And got an assignment from my father - he wanted me to draw a grid that he could use to calibrate TV sets (TV was the standard display device for personal computers). I did it, after working for most of an afternoon. Some time later, I discovered the 'for' loop (or rather, finally understood what it was for) and rewrote all of it in 5 minutes and 4 lines. And the rest is history.
EDIT: Even more impressive is that the author managed to keep himself focused and finished the job. At 15, I had already started the trend that would lead to a huge string of corpses of unfinished projects.
That feeling was awesome.
Daniil, you did not exactly go much into the acquiring process for obvious reasons but any advice you can depart on us? I.e. what can we do to avoid the "rollercoaster"? Also, would like to hear about your experiences (bad and good) being a kid in the industry at that time and how you dealt with it.
Anyway, congrats on achieving what most of us can dream of at a really young age.
1. Be realistic. Try to not let your ego get the best of you.
2. Look at the big picture. Sometimes you get so focused on one thing, you lose sight of what's around you. Evaluate everything that goes in: be able to compromise on some to win in others.
About being a kid in the industry: it's really no different. You get additional attention just for being your age, but aside from that, everything else is the same. I like it that way.
Books are great, but I prefer using solely online resources to learn; I find it to be a more efficient use of my time. Though there are notable exceptions: The Pragmatic Programmer (http://pragprog.com/the-pragmatic-programmer) and Getting Real (http://gettingreal.37signals.com/) come to mind.
I wish you best of luck and success for everything you do.
Even if your only goal in life is to make better technology, you still have to interact with people who aren't hackers, and college is an easy way to expose yourself to a very diverse group of people.
Second: With rather good spirit and having something to say (obviously, you know your stuff), I'm rather surprised that your blog doesn't mention the obvious design inspiration, and even adds some copyright.
What are your thoughts on college?
Are you going to ditch it all together and keep working on your startups, or are you planning on getting some degree (possibly from MIT/Harvard, trust me, you probably can)?
The former is how I've learned near everything over the past 5 years; I can't remember the last time I bought a programming/reference-type book.
The latter is invaluable for browsing through others' code and I find it to be the fastest way to pick up new concepts. Why look through theoretical examples when you can look at real-world implementations?
"I want to be as great as Steve Jobs, therefore I have to be as anal as he was about every last detail."
The problem with that line of thinking. (Besides the whole "Not iterating" thing.) Is that Jobs criticized others work. (Example: Wozniak built the AppleII really, Jobs just leaned over his shoulder to make sure he did it right.)
In the absence of a magic design compass like Jobs, you'll have to iterate and test to see if your changes are worthwhile.