Friday, December 13, 2013

People in Tech: Nick D'Aloisio

Its been awhile since my last post on people in technology, something which I really enjoyed writing about with Elon Musk. Today I'm going to write about another famous person in technology, though many people probably have not heard of him before. His name is Nick D'Aloisio, he's 17, and he's worth $30 million.

The Telegraph calls him a typical British teenager, and the Wall Street Journal tells us there's nothing all that special about him at first glance, but look a little but deeper and you'll see he's not a common kid. He was a kid who started coding pretty young, and got pretty good at it over the hours he spent working on it. D'Aloisio is a mastermind behind the iPhone app Summly. Summly is an app that took information in a news article, put it through an algorithm D'Aloisio designed, and under the headline gives you the gist of the article. This helps the reader decide if its worth reading the article bases on their interest in the excerpt. D'Aloisio actually got this idea from Twitter and their 140 character limit, just one example of how influencing and connected technology really is. A neat little app that had tons of downloads on the app market, and certainly essential in a world where sometimes we just don't have the time to read "the whole thing".

The really interesting part is what happened after D'Aloisio designed the app. It turns out that Yahoo really needed a little something more for their ever-increasing mobile platform. Summly seemed to be just the right thing for a world that needs information quickly and needs to know what it wants to read before they're already done with it. Yahoo negotiated, and gave D'Aloisio $30 million for his app and a job at Yahoo. The coolest thing is that D'Aloisio doesn't even really care about the money, and doesn't really have anything expensive he wants to buy. He's a very down-to-Earth guy, who still is in high school. Even with his employment that is obviously a lucrative place, he is attempting to test out of his remaining high school classes, but is still considering a University education.

All in all I can only say that I wish I was him. Money would be nice, but even more attractive to me is the number of opportunities he has from here he has unlimited access to all kinds of education and mentorship, such as the surprisingly savvy investor Ashton Kutcher.

Summly's Basic Lay-out

D'Aloisio has been working at Yahoo lately, the company that bought his app

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