This 16 Year Old App Creator Scored Funding From A Hong Kong Billionaire

By on December 30, 2011
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While studying at his parents house in London, Nick D’Aloisio came up with a brilliant idea to create a revolutionary app by the name of Summly which changes the way that you read your favorite websites and social media feeds. This idea scored this 16 year-old genius a flight to New York and some serious money in the bank as a result of an official partnership with the eleventh wealthiest billionaire in the world, Li Ka-Shing who will be overlooking the production and release of this app.

Read on to see how Nick D’Aloisio was able to achieve such a great feat at the fresh young age of 16.

Many young entrepreneurs say they want to create the next Facebook, 16-year-old Nick D’Aloisio wants to solve the problem social networks have created in the first place.

The teenager built an iPhone app called Summly, which automatically generates summaries in the form of bullet points to help you filter through all that information.

With more than $250,000 in seed funding from Hong Kong billionaire businessman Li Ka-shing, D’Aloisio spent the last six months in his parents’ London house building Summly.

It was Sunday at 4 a.m. London time when D’Aloisio enthusiastically IMed me over AOL Messenger to make sure the news of his app made it to my Twitter stream. He was excited that 23,000 people have downloaded the app since it launched last week.

D’Aloisio was inspired to build the app after he signed up for Twitter, and got a flood of information from AP, Reuters, and other people’s Twitter handles.

Interested in finding out more about D’Aloisio, we called him to ask him about this machine learning technology and how he balances his startup with school work. We could hear his faint Australian accent — he’s originally from Perth, Western Australia, (wow, this is where Joel Brown from Addicted2Success.com is from ;)

 

Nick D’Aloisio – The Boy Genius Of Summly

 

Interview With Nick D’Aloisio

Boonsri Dickinson: How do you see the future of search and the Internet?

Nick D’Aloisio:  Consumers want information instantaneously and the search interface needs to accommodate this.

We don’t need more social networks. The new wave of technology will now stop encouraging content creation. Twitter and Facebook is enough…we have too much information. We need to try to filter the content and make it more digestible. Zite and Flipboard attempt to provide the user with the content.

We want people to use Summly once they have found content they are interested in or know what they are searching for.

BD: So how did the app evolve into what it is today?

Nick: Six months ago, we released something called Trimit. It was about content creation. It was a more gimmicky app, where you’d input an article and summarize to 140 characters for Twitter or other restrictions for Tumblr, Facebook, and email. But I found that people were using for consuming content.

Trimit taught me people want content consumption tools not content creation. Now with Summly, you can have a computer to aid that process.

BD: What’s the market for it?

Nick: It’s Cliff Notes for a mobile device. It takes a second to return any search result.

It’s a bit magical. People don’t believe what it can do, then they have a “wow” moment. You can share the summary. You can quickly evaluate the content now.

In the future, it can be applied to email. It’s easy to train it for colloquial language used in email. And eventually it can be used in other areas such as enterprise, consumer markets, and education. We will probably license the technology though monthly fees.

BD: How did you learn to program at age 12?

Nick: Books. C For Dummies. Online Tutorials. Trial and Error.

The first app I built was called Facemood when I was 14. It automatically deduced the mood of a Facebook friend using their latest Facebook status.

Even now, I’m not that confident. As I said I prefer the graphical/product aspect.

BD: What do your classmates think of you?

ND: I’m in year 11 here. I just turned 16 in November.  I hope they just think I’m a nice guy. You wouldn’t know I do this stuff. I’m really happy with the response I’ve been getting. People are amazed.

With all that, I don’t feel like I need to change my life in any way. I play sport — rugby and cricket. And I go out.

I work on the app when I can from like 9-11 pm. And on Sundays. Between school work. It’s pretty hectic.

BD: Who inspires you?

ND: Anyone who is crazy enough to create what’s in their mind. Steve Jobs for his obsession with attention to detail and his advice on failure and success. I’m inspired by designers and typography designers. And innovators like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, and Jack Dorsey and the other founders of Twitter.

BD: What’s next for you?

ND: I still have three years left of schooling and plan to continue with my education into university, where I hope to study a combination of philosophy and economics, and perhaps continue learning Mandarin. I learn Mandarin because I’m interested in Chinese culture and enjoy languages.

 

Now, check out more about the app in this video:

Introduction Of Summly

 

Interview By Boonsri Dickinson from BusinessInsider.com

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About The Author: Joel Brown

Joel Brown is the CEO and Founder of Addicted2Success.com. With a long time passion for Entrepreneurship, Self development & Success, Joel started his website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people all over the world to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. Joel’s passion for what he does shows through the continual growth of Addicted2Success.com's online community. Follow Joel Brown on Twitter or keep upto date with him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joelbrownA2S

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