September 26, 2007, - 9:45 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Here’s a story for whining feminists who claim men have it better.
Meet Ashley Qualls. She’s everything that’s great about America and our free enterprise system.
Well, almost everything. Despite a 3.9 GPA, she dropped out of high school during sophomore year to concentrate on her business.
But in Qualls’ rare case, her dropping out paid off. After an $8 dollar investment in a website domain name–WhateverLife.com–Qualls (of the Detroit area) now has a business that is bringing in millions and owns her own home (which she bought when she was 16). And she’s only 17. Her website is ranked #825 in traffic, out of the entire Internet.
The best part: It’s ahead of (and gets more traffic than) Oprah.com . . . and, sadly, my site, OprahSucks.com, too. Her site has brought in over a million dollars in ad revenue, and her mother and best friends are now on her payroll. She even got legally emancipated to be able to legally sign contacts on her own (without a parent). She’s been offered $5 million for her business, but refuses to sell just yet.
Qualls will be on annoying anti-male yenta-fest “The View” on Friday and is in New York meeting with top ad execs for advertising on her site. She gets 250,000 unique visitors a day.
So what does Qualls have on her website that makes it garner so much attention: She is a web designer who creates designs to decorate MySpace pages. And it’s all free. Very soon, she’ll introduce a line of screens and designs for cellphones. Qualls taught herself computer programming, code, and other language and is a self-described computer geek.
Why do I like this story? Two reasons:
1) Because it shows that in America, anything is possible. Anyone from any background–even a teen from a low-income, working class area (from which Qualls emanated)–can make it big through risk (though I don’t recommend dropping out of high school), talent, and hard work.
The free enterprise system and entrepreneurial spirit is part of what makes America great.
2) While feminists and academics continue to whine about a “high-tech gender gap in computer science”–the subject of a Monday Associated Press story–Ashley Qualls isn’t whining. She’s showing that there actually isn’t a gender gap at all for those who work at it instead of whine.
Tags: America, Ashley Qualls, Debbie Schlussel Here, Detroit, high-tech gender gap, Meet Ashley Qualls, Monday Associated Press, New York, USD, web designer