When Aucklander Quintin Lake turned 18 last week he had extra cause to celebrate - it meant he finally meets the legal age requirement to become a director of the company he set up two years ago.
Lake started nationwide internet service provider Maxnet when he was 15 because he was frustrated with the levels of service available to internet users at the time. Last week he took on the role of technical director and for the first time can sign contracts and do official business on behalf of the company, taking his seat along with fellow directors Canadian Kim Thibault and Antony Urbahn.
Maxnet, which recently bought Auckland-based Surfer Internet, is looking at other mergers and acquisitions. Originally focused on consumers, in the past six months it has set up a separate business division concentrating on web design and e-commerce solutions. Staff numbers will increase from 10 to 18 in the next two weeks, says Lake.
A former student of Mahurangi College in Warkworth, Lake says taking accounting and economics at school has helped him but most of his computer knowledge has been picked up through practice and talking to people. He says the most important skill for his job is being able to communicate well.