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Young Entrepreneur Recycles the Old With a New Business

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Alexander Levine started tinkering with online business ideas when he was 10 years old. Now he owns OldVersion.com, the business he started for recycling discontinued versions of computer software.

Levine actually registered the domain name in 2001, when he was 12. The service of providing older versions of programs earned enough income to fund his college education. He graduated in May of 2011. All of the company’s revenue is generated from advertising. Software downloads for users are free, but they must register.

By 2011, users of the OldVersion.com website download 10,000 to 15,000 copies of outdated software per day. Over 300 older versions of programs are offered on the website. Some people need to retrieve old software because upgrades did not function properly on their computers. Others simply decided they prefer the old versions.

Levine and his business partner, Travis Dane, expanded and improved OldVersion.com for 2011. Instead of continuing to deliver the same content, the entrepreneurs implemented new ways to satisfy their customers.

To enhance the user experience, the website now includes abandoned computer games, such as old versions of Mortal Kombat, Superfrog, and Lemmings. These are discontinued products no longer supported by their creators. Ownership of a software license isn’t required to download and use these programs. Since redesigning the website, OldVersion.com is receiving about 100 new registered users every day.

OldVersion.com now allows site visitors to upload software and complete a simple online form to win points for prizes. All uploaded software is checked for viruses on multiple operating systems before release to the public.

Levine learned that earning money is possible by starting a business that performs a simple service. As a college graduate, he now has some ideas for new startup companies.