Owner, ACS Digital Media and Natomasliving.net Tarik Assagai, 25
The 411: At the rate he’s going, he’ll retire at 35
At 14, Tarik Assagai could disassemble and reassemble any IBM computer; at 19, he was running a business. Six years later, his design firm, ACS Digital Media, is still going strong, providing clients such as California GEAR UP and Florin Road Partnership with web design, graphic design, Flash animation and other support. But despite his youth, Assagai understands that it takes more than technical savvy to keep clients happy. “I think my greatest strength for business is how well I deal with people,” he says. “Every client matters.” The recipient of a 2005 Stepping Up To Greatness award from the Observer Media Group, Assagai says he owes his fearless entrepreneurial spirit to his parents, who both had their own businesses. (His father is well-known Sacramento lobbyist Mel Assagai; his late mother owned a residential care facility.) Recently, Assagai added a second business to his already-full plate: Natomasliving.net, an online business directory for the Natomas area. “I’m too busy,” he admits. But maybe it’s worth it: If things keep going this well, Assagai expects to retire at 35—or sooner.