How Teenager Nick D’Aloisio Made 30 Million At 17 – The Summly App’s Story
This is one of the latest millionaire stories, in which a smart techy teenager hits the jackpot by selling his work to a big Internet company. This is the story of Nick D’Aloisio, the British teen who developed the news syndication app for iPhone – Summly.
A little about the teenage millionaire
When he was just 15, the young entrepreneur had an idea – to simplify the way how information is spread across the web. He wanted to build an application, which could show you news or simply articles from many different sources in a convenient way. So, he sat down and developed ‘Trimit’ – a tool that could summarize articles in short tweets of 140 characters in length. The application was noticed by the
Chinese billionaire Li Ka Shing liked it so much, that he contacted Nick and offered a $300 000 investment into the project. This was pretty amazing news for the young entrepreneur. I can imagine his face when Li got in touch with him and told him that he would contribute a few hundred thousand to his spare time project. Just amazing news for any teenage kid that writes code in his/her spare time.
D’Aloisio took the money and as any good entrepreneur used it to make his project even cooler. This was how Trimit was improved and transformed into Summly. And here is how this application was born. The app extracts the most important parts of an article and shows it in a convenient way for reading on a mobile device. The latter was launched in December 2011 and achieved great success. Although it was some kind of a test version, it reached more than 200 000 downloads very soon. After a while, Summly 2.0 was released, which was much better than the previous one. More than a million dollars was raised from people who liked the app and donated to its development – some of whom were Ashton Kutcher, and Mark Pincus (CEO at Zynga). The app could cache all news on the device, so the user didn’t even need an Internet connection to read them. When the web connection was available, all news got updated.
The idea for Summly came about when D’Aloisio noticed people were increasingly getting their news from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The challenge was that the limited amount of characters made it difficult to get a full understanding of the underlying article. His solution was to develop an algorithm that would accurately synthesize any article for quicker comprehension.
Summly uses natural language processing, which is a type of artificial intelligence. It is combined with semantic analysis which essentially allows the language of each article to be understood relative to its context. This makes it possible for the app to summarize complex articles with accuracy and speed. By breaking down sentences into comprehensible chunks of information, Summly can create summaries in a visually appealing format that is easy to read.
This app also offers customization depending on user preferences like topics or specific outlets they follow. For example, a reader can choose preferred sources like The New York Times or sports outlets such as ESPN and will only be presented with summaries related to those topics.
The main feature of Summly is its ability to condense long articles into one or two simple snapshot summaries, while still being detailed enough without leaving out information from the original text. This summarizing ability ensures that its users are both knowledgeable and efficient when gathering information from news websites or other areas across the web.
As a result of this technology, mobile users can quickly scan headlines for a one-sentence summary and move on to more important things throughout their day without ever having to read through the entire story or article in question. In addition, Summly has also partnered with major media outlets such as Yahoo! News and MSNBC which allows it access to thousands of articles each day which are then automatically summarized by its algorithm.
This cool widget was very quickly noticed by some big media names like News Corp. and Fox News, who saw that it can bring zounds of visitors to their websites. Recently another big dog – Yahoo spotted the potential in Summly and offered $30 000 000 for the application. Nick D’Aloisio signed the contract cashing in the millions and becoming a 17 years old multimillionaire.
‘When I founded Summly at 15, I would have never imagined being in this position so suddenly. I’d personally like to thank Li Ka-Shing and Horizons Ventures for having the foresight to back a teenager pursuing his dream. Also to our investors, advisers, and of course the fantastic team for believing in the potential of Summly. Without you all, this never would have been possible. I’d also like to thank my family, friends, and school for supporting me.‘
Chase your dreams and think smart. This is how success is achieved!
So, if you liked our story, please help our site and spread it around your favorite social network. Don’t miss checking out some of the related stories below.