I started my first "company" when I was 19. Here's what happened

Bruno Rigolino on

When I was 19, after one and half years of law school, I realized that I should have been studying something different. So, after giving it a lot of thought, I went all-in in architecture: I started college again and opened a 3D visualization studio. The “studio” was me in a bedroom.

My rationale was: “Ok, I’m starting college again, but now instead of waiting for an intern opportunity, I'm going to find a way to experiment with the profession earlier."

I was confident that I could handle simple visualization projects because I began to learn 3D modeling and rendering during high school, and creating illustrations wouldn’t require me to finish college.

So I bought a new computer and registered the company. Then, what?

  • I struggled to find clients; When I found them, I learned that doing the most realistic render wasn’t the goal, but helping my clients show their projects to their clients with proper illustrations, balancing quality and costs;
  • I got confident and entered a design contest; I won the contest and received a full scholarship for one of the best design schools in Brazil;
  • I left architecture school;
  • I began college again, but this time in product design;
  • I stopped doing archviz work;
  • I bootstrapped a backpack brand (with the money I earned with archviz);
  • I sold backpacks;
  • I saw a stranger on the street using my product;
  • I gave a TEDx talk that led me to a whole new chapter of my career.

The lesson I learned: starting to do things before "knowing everything," leveraging what I already knew, helped me figure out the rest and created opportunities that I didn't imagine when I started.