When Lane Sutton speaks, the moguls of the digital economy listen, said Erin Ailworth in The Boston Globe. Nothing unusual there: Business leaders are all ears when respected social-media consultants like Sutton hold forth. But Sutton isn’t your ordinary consultant—he’s 13 years old. “With his mop of dark, wavy hair and glasses,” Sutton is a fixture at social-media conferences (which he attends with his mom, Sheri). Celebrities such as Tom Cruise follow his Twitter posts, and executives such as Tony Hsieh, CEO of online retailer Zappos, talk shop with him. David Gerzof, CEO of Internet marketing firm BIGfish Communications, recently met him at a social-media gathering and promptly asked him to teach a session of his marketing class at Boston’s Emerson College.
To his eighth-grade classmates in suburban Boston, Sutton is “just Lane,” but few of his peers have their own consulting business, complete with paying clients, or lead conference discussions on privacy in the age of social media. And few, it’s safe to say, can sling digital-age jargon as easily as Sutton. “We live in exponential times,” he said in a recent Twitter post. “The Internet is a place to meet, learn, act, react, and transact.”