When I was fifteen, my first job was working at an ice cream parlor one summer. It was for 5.75 an hour and sometimes I was paid under the table. The work was fine, and it was a great introduction to customer service; especially how people react when their ice cream cone isn’t as full as their older brother’s. Little did I know that I should have been in my room playing with computers.
This week, seventeen year old Nick D’Aloisio sold his mobile application, Summly, for 30 million dollars to Yahoo!. D’Aloisio, developed this application when he was fifteen from his parent’s home in London. Summly is an app that aims in providing concise news taken from hundreds of sources to smartphones. This new algorithm allows news stories to be summarized in a succinct manner, giving readers the choice whether or not they want to expand the story or not.
When asked in an interview about this development, a Yahoo source stated, “It started with an insight — that we live in a world of constant information and need new ways to simplify how we find the stories that are important to us, at a glance.”
This ever-changing world of receiving news is rapidly evolving. In the last 5 years alone, we have witnessed a remarkable change in how we access information. The Internet, and its real-time updates, have challenged reporters to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information within seconds not days. This is also a good metaphor for entrepreneurs (remember that Harvard dropout and his little website?). Furthermore, this information that reporters are sharing must have enough of an appeal to make users want to read further.
Nick’s youthful aspirations seen to fruition is just the latest example of how age is but a mere number. While all the talk (and rightfully so) will be on Nick these upcoming weeks, the next Nick D’Aloisio is already out there developing something we all will want. We just don’t know it yet.
What is good to see is that Nick plans on finishing his final year of high school as to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t have to find a summer job.