Zach tested out of high school at the age of 16 and started working full time as an engineer and lead backend developer at Yo. Now at 18, Zach is working on his rapidly expanding coding organization called Hack Club.

Hack Club is a non-profit initiative that works with high school students to start and lead coding clubs are their school. They are currently in 84 schools across 16 states and 7 countries!

He was also included in Forbes 30 under 30 and is the recipient of the Thiel Fellowship for his work with Hack Club.

Click to tweet: Zach shares how he skipped college to become a full-time engineer and startup founder before 19 years old!

Time Stamped Notes

  • 00:40 Kylon’s Intro
  • 01:45 Zach talks about the Thiel Fellowship
  • 04:00 Zach shares his high school dropout story
  • 06:26 Wrongly accused of cheating! The breaking point.
  • 08:00 Analyze your options
  • 08:50 How his friends and family reacted to him dropping out
  • 09:30 Decided with parents to do a 3 month trial. If things didn’t work out, he would go back to school.
  • 10:30 What advice would you have for people who’s parents don’t support them?
  • 11:34 Zach shares what his first several months were like after leaving high school
  • 11:25 Decided to move to SF
  • 13:00 Got into contracting – quickly got job offer
  • 14:50 Zach shares how he got a job offer so quickly
  • 16:00 The start of Hack Club and what it’s all about
  • 19:30 Why is coding important?
  • 23:15 First steps for anyone interested in learning to code
  • 26:15 How Zach generates revenue
  • 27:54 Worst entrepreneurial moment and lessons learned
  • 31:10 AH HA moment and lessons learned
  • 39:50 “Dont break the chain”
  • 42:15 Solid morning routine
  • 44:35 A quality essential to being an entrepreneur
  • 51:39 Advice for someone thinking of dropping out
  • 53:37 Advice for someone who has already dropped out
  • 54:15 Keep asking “why”
  • 54:47 Best way for people to connect with Zach

4 Key Points

  • The best way to accomplish a huge goal is to break it up into smaller, more manageable steps and accomplish those, one at a time.
  • Be aware that you are probably going to fail at some point, even at things you think you understand. Understand that it is part of the journey. Learn what you can, and understand it’s just a step towards eventual success.
  • Have a strong morning routine. You win the morning, you win the day!
  • Learning doesn’t stop after you leave school. Be a continual learner!

Resources Mentioned


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