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dkf

(37,305 posts)
Tue Mar 26, 2013, 12:46 PM Mar 2013

Just do it, says Yahoo's teen app millionaire

LONDON (Reuters) - Got a tech idea and want to make a fortune before you're out of your teens? Just do it, is the advice of the London schoolboy who's just sold his smartphone news app to Yahoo for a reported $30 million.

The money is there, just waiting for clever new moves, said 17-year-old Nick D'Aloisio, who can point to a roster of early backers for his Summly app that includes Yoko Ono and Rupert Murdoch.

"If you have a good idea, or you think there's a gap in the market, just go out and launch it because there are investors across the world right now looking for companies to invest in," he told Reuters in a telephone interview late on Monday.

The terms of the sale, four months after Summly was launched for the iPhone, have not been disclosed and D'Aloisio, who is still studying for school exams while joining Yahoo as its youngest employee, was not saying. But technology blog AllThingsD said Yahoo paid roughly $30 million.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE92P01C20130326?irpc=932

45 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Just do it, says Yahoo's teen app millionaire (Original Post) dkf Mar 2013 OP
Huh, I bet he created this app at home...just saying. nt Javaman Mar 2013 #1
he created it while attended a top-ranked prep school (equivalent of). His dad's a morgan stanley HiPointDem Mar 2013 #6
I guess you missed my point. Javaman Mar 2013 #14
Very well played. Orrex Mar 2013 #34
What is an "app" and how do I "create" one?? kestrel91316 Mar 2013 #2
He is a Brit. The whole world isn't Republican vs Democrat you know. dkf Mar 2013 #3
Which is why I said "Republican-ish". But your defense of Republicans is once again duly noted. kestrel91316 Mar 2013 #4
Or maybe failure comes from not being inspired to try. dkf Mar 2013 #5
This message was self-deleted by its author devilgrrl Mar 2013 #11
Writing an app has nothing to do with inspiration or innovation? dkf Mar 2013 #17
This message was self-deleted by its author devilgrrl Mar 2013 #20
I have no degree. My mother was on welfare when I was growing up. randome Mar 2013 #24
it's not luck when dad is a morgan stanley exec. HiPointDem Mar 2013 #27
It wasn't luck for me, either, and I was poor growing up. randome Mar 2013 #29
when there's a $30 million paycheck, it often does. and i notice your boss owns your app, for HiPointDem Mar 2013 #33
Of course he made more than me. He had the marketing skills to make it work. randome Mar 2013 #37
he had the capital and connections to make it work. as this kid does. class tells. HiPointDem Mar 2013 #38
Once upon a time, I worked in the film business.. Javaman Mar 2013 #39
i can't speak to your friend's situation. maybe he liked being a camera assistant. HiPointDem Mar 2013 #40
Did I ever label this as a horatio alger story? no Javaman Mar 2013 #41
not saying you said it was a horatio alger story; saying these stories are usually presented as HiPointDem Mar 2013 #42
Oh okay, I gotcha. Javaman Mar 2013 #43
it helps to have morgan stanley in the family, as this kid does. HiPointDem Mar 2013 #8
his dad's a morgan stanley exec, his mother's a lawyer, and he went to our equivalent of a HiPointDem Mar 2013 #7
This message was self-deleted by its author devilgrrl Mar 2013 #12
*singing* "Mommas... don't let your baybees grow up to be cattle..." dogknob Mar 2013 #9
You might as well train 100% of students to do basic plumbing. dawg Mar 2013 #32
I prefer to admire Aaron Schwartz who was never into it for the money Luminous Animal Mar 2013 #10
Good for him fujiyama Mar 2013 #13
It is all in the idea. The programming part is fairly easy. The tools are affordable, even free. CBGLuthier Mar 2013 #15
How about a Breathalyzer app. JaneyVee Mar 2013 #16
What if you don't have a good idea? What if you can't program in Objective C? Sucks to be us? HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #18
Think of an idea and learn how to program in Objective C. cbdo2007 Mar 2013 #19
Right, because there's nothing between "pie-in-the-sky" and MalWart. HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #21
How many tutorials on how to make apps did you read before responding?? cbdo2007 Mar 2013 #23
You mean that just by reading three tutorials . . . HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #30
Hey, it's a start... cbdo2007 Mar 2013 #36
you mean you hadn't considered it until this kid spoke out? lol. HiPointDem Mar 2013 #28
Seems rather . . . . rehearsed, doesn't it? HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #31
sounds like the solution to poverty --everyone creates a $30m app CreekDog Mar 2013 #22
It is incredible that anyone could treat this story as anything but horatio alger idiocy. redqueen Mar 2013 #25
More than a few "Exhibit As" in this thread alone. HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #26
Yeah? So? Orrex Mar 2013 #35
Smart kid. But I'm taken aback by the amount of miserable woe-is-me jealousy on display here. Nye Bevan Mar 2013 #44
SIGH . . . . what part of this is "woe-is-me jealousy"?? What part of this is untruthful? HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #45
 

HiPointDem

(20,729 posts)
6. he created it while attended a top-ranked prep school (equivalent of). His dad's a morgan stanley
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:31 AM
Mar 2013

exec and his mother's a lawyer.

but i'm sure that had nothing to do with his success.

any kid can do it.

 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
2. What is an "app" and how do I "create" one??
Tue Mar 26, 2013, 02:04 PM
Mar 2013

He needs somebody to buy him a little clue for his obviously Republican-ish ass.

 

dkf

(37,305 posts)
3. He is a Brit. The whole world isn't Republican vs Democrat you know.
Tue Mar 26, 2013, 02:54 PM
Mar 2013

And look at this:

Guess who’s winning the brains race, with 100% of first graders learning to code?

We’re reading today that Estonia is implementing a new education program that will have 100 percent of publicly educated students learning to write code.

Called ProgeTiiger, the new initiative aims to turn children from avid consumers of technology (which they naturally are; try giving a 5-year-old an iPad sometime) into developers of technology (which they are not; see downward-spiraling computer science university degree program enrollment stats).

ProgreTiiger education will start with students in the first grade, which starts around the age of 7 or 8 for Estonians. The compsci education will continue through a student’s final years of public school, around age 16. Teachers are being trained on the new skills, and private sector IT companies are also getting involved, which makes sense, given that these entities will likely end up being the long-term beneficiaries of a technologically literate populace.

The ProgreTiiger program is launching at a few pilot schools and will soon be rolling out to all general education schools in Estonia.

By contrast, the U.S. public education system has been described as “running on empty” when it comes to tech literacy, leaving young adults unprepared to compete in a digitally driven economy.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/04/estonia-code-academy/

 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
4. Which is why I said "Republican-ish". But your defense of Republicans is once again duly noted.
Tue Mar 26, 2013, 02:57 PM
Mar 2013

Please explain how each and every person is to create an app for Yahoo and become a millionaire.

Failure to succeed is a direct consequence of failing to support public education. Tell your Republican friends that after you've spent a moment or two thinking about it.

If you sabotage government and public education, you aren't going to wind up with a citizenry that knows how to think, let alone be highly educated, creative, and successful.

 

dkf

(37,305 posts)
5. Or maybe failure comes from not being inspired to try.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:26 AM
Mar 2013

It's absolutely depressing how badly received achievement is here.

Where is the celebration of success? Instead the guy is put down as a Republican wanna be. Amazing.

Response to dkf (Reply #5)

 

dkf

(37,305 posts)
17. Writing an app has nothing to do with inspiration or innovation?
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:12 PM
Mar 2013

Wow what did it spring out of then? Laziness and complacency?

Response to dkf (Reply #17)

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
24. I have no degree. My mother was on welfare when I was growing up.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 01:47 PM
Mar 2013

Yet I wrote an app that so impressed my boss, he quit to start his own company with a version of it I wrote for him. He gave me generous royalties for many years then, when he wanted to expand his company, I sold the code outright to him.

That piece of software now runs in News media companies across the planet.

I did not make a million, not even a hundred thousand on it, but self-education and organization gave me all the tools I needed.

You're right, not everyone can do what this teen did, but to say he only got 'lucky' is selling him short, IMO.

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
29. It wasn't luck for me, either, and I was poor growing up.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:21 PM
Mar 2013

My point is, family money doesn't always factor into things.

 

HiPointDem

(20,729 posts)
33. when there's a $30 million paycheck, it often does. and i notice your boss owns your app, for
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:24 PM
Mar 2013

which you say you got less than $100K.

i bet he made more.

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
37. Of course he made more than me. He had the marketing skills to make it work.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 03:21 PM
Mar 2013

I could have refused to sell unless he made me a partner or something but I wasn't up for that much effort. I don't have any regrets.

Maybe this kid's family wealth helped him negotiate a good deal, that's probably true. But there is opportunity out there. It's not for everyone but it's there.

Javaman

(62,507 posts)
39. Once upon a time, I worked in the film business..
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 04:16 PM
Mar 2013

I didn't know anyone, didn't get any breaks, and didn't make a "breakout film" loved by millions. I worked my way up from the bottom of the food chain starting as a PA and then finally retiring as a cinematographer.

I had a friend born into wealth, his father was one of the most well connected producers of commercials in L.A., his family heritage in film stretched back to the silent era studio bosses, his dad offered him the opportunity to start his own production company.

He and I both started as P.A.'s He had to "learn the ropes" before moving up.

He's still a Camera Assistant. There is nothing wrong with that at all, I was one as well. But for someone who had ever opportunity for success handed to him, he never rose to the occasion.

Money doesn't always bring wealth and connections don't always bring infamy.

The interesting thing about the app this young man made is this: in the world of apps there are truly millions of really really shitty ones and the ones that break out and do wonders are rare.

Why should I fault this kid who obviously has talent, was encouraged by his parents then used their ability to help their child promote his creation?

What parent wouldn't do that?

At least this kid is doing something creative and productive. There are millions of trust funders out there that do nothing more than live off the wealth handed to them for nothing more than winning the gene pool.

Just because the kid is wealthy should not distract from the fact that he still created something from nothing and via family contacts was able to achieve success.

Good on the kid. He at least is showing ambition and talent for something he enjoys doing.

I never will get over those here who condemn purely on face value.

FYI, this isn't aimed at you, just the nay sayers in this thread.

Cheers!

 

HiPointDem

(20,729 posts)
40. i can't speak to your friend's situation. maybe he liked being a camera assistant.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 04:29 PM
Mar 2013

my killer app is more likely to get a hearing, and i am more likely to get more money, if i have connections.

the same with every skill set.

these horatio alger stories *always* fail to mention the social capital behind them. always. they're propaganda.

Javaman

(62,507 posts)
41. Did I ever label this as a horatio alger story? no
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 04:41 PM
Mar 2013

and in regards to my friend, he just couldn't rise above his ability. He's a nice guy, hates being a camera assistant, wants to move up, but doesn't have the chops.

As for myself, I was born into a blue collar union family on Long Island. I have known poverty on a first name basis and have eaten my share of food from a dumpster or two.

So my point is, especially when it comes to film, there is no correct path to get you to the top rung. You can go to film school (which I didn't) you can fall bass akwards into getting your first film job (which I did), you can have an uncle in the biz (which I didn't) or you can teach yourself from books (which I did). There is no correct way.

and like this kid with the app, if I was in film and found out that I had a rich uncle that would give me a boost to stardom, damn straight I would have taken that opportunity in a heartbeat.

So I fault this kid zero. He. is. a. kid.

And as I said above, his parents, like any parent helped him.

I have a massive issue with the wealth poverty gap here in the U.S. and I am personally disgusted with how the rich get away with seemingly everything including murder, but I will not fault someone who had a good idea and was able to exploit that same idea via opportunities that were allowed him or her.

That's just mean to do so.

Not all reach eat the poor before breakfast.

 

HiPointDem

(20,729 posts)
42. not saying you said it was a horatio alger story; saying these stories are usually presented as
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 04:45 PM
Mar 2013

thought talent & work are the only factors involved in these giant successes.

when you look behind the story, it's rarely the case. never, in my research, in fact.

i find them propagandistic.

it has nothing to do with personal animosity toward this particular young man.

Javaman

(62,507 posts)
43. Oh okay, I gotcha.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 04:55 PM
Mar 2013

I see your point.

Yeah, I agree, the reporting usually is far from the truth and it's not the "rags to riches" story they would like us all to believe.

Cheers!

 

HiPointDem

(20,729 posts)
7. his dad's a morgan stanley exec, his mother's a lawyer, and he went to our equivalent of a
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:32 AM
Mar 2013

top-ranked prep school.

estonia?????

you are such a joke.

Response to HiPointDem (Reply #7)

dawg

(10,622 posts)
32. You might as well train 100% of students to do basic plumbing.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:23 PM
Mar 2013

Writing code is a great intellectual exercise, but it's something only a minuscule portion of the workforce needs to know how to do.

I was taught how to code.

WATFIV Fortran.

Luminous Animal

(27,310 posts)
10. I prefer to admire Aaron Schwartz who was never into it for the money
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:37 AM
Mar 2013

but for access to information for all the people.

Brilliant and brave.

fujiyama

(15,185 posts)
13. Good for him
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:42 AM
Mar 2013

and his advice is sound. A lot of people often have good ideas they are either unsure whether others will like them or they just aren't sure how to implement them.

The great thing is that with the mobile app stores (Android especially due to its less restrictive policy) anyone can get their product and ideas out there. You never know - you may have the next "Angry Birds".

Granted, it helps to have a strong educational background - and affluent parents.

CBGLuthier

(12,723 posts)
15. It is all in the idea. The programming part is fairly easy. The tools are affordable, even free.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 09:47 AM
Mar 2013

The scorn heaped upon this person seems to me to be rooted in nothing more or less than envy.

Kind of pathetic to see an intelligent and successful person called names merely because he is intelligent and successful.

Harrison Bergeron may be Vonnegut's most prescient work.

HughBeaumont

(24,461 posts)
18. What if you don't have a good idea? What if you can't program in Objective C? Sucks to be us?
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:45 PM
Mar 2013

Are we supposed to magically have a product or service that someone else isn't already doing for cheaper?

Where's the luck against astronomical odds coming from? How does the audience for this product happen? How do the right people look at this amazing imaginary app I'm supposed to build?

This is what we're proposing to re-build the economy around? A whim and a prayer?

The reason no one "celebrates achievement" such as this is because the way it's presented spews just a little more than an undertone of "SEE? Horatio Alger DOES work!" sprinkled with victim-blaming, as in "why isn't EVERYbody doing this? Why aren't YOU doing this? This kid's 17! What's YOUR excuse?? Come on, work a lot harder and SAVE this economy, prole!"

Success should not be defined in monetary terms. This is America's problem; we're too busy with our eyes on a pie-in-the-sky lottery when we should be concentrating on getting worker rights, better wages, universal health care and a solid retirement instead. We view the lottery/jackpot business success as a more realistic "achievement" than the four elements I just listed.

There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people who just want to work at a living wage. I mean, if you can start your own business and merely make a consistent living at it, that's nice and you should be happy. But don't for one second think that's what's going to save us or be presented as some "norm". For every Nick D'Aloisio, there are ten to a hundred thousand others that tried and failed. "Rags to Millions" stories are only news because they just don't happen very often when put up against the greater amount of failures.

cbdo2007

(9,213 posts)
19. Think of an idea and learn how to program in Objective C.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 01:00 PM
Mar 2013

If you can't do that then go get a job at Walmart.

You read the article and say, "well geez, it shouldn't be about the money and the chances of me becoming a millionaire are slim to none so I should just go cry in the corner....woe is me!!!"

I read the article and say, "Wow, I was just telling me wife it would be cool if an app did this _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and the only one out there I found that does this sucks, maybe I'll read about how to program these apps on evenings and weekends in my spare time and try to create something better. I'm not looking to make a million dollars here, but it would be cool to make an extra $500 per month or so to supplement my income. I'll get started tonight!"

HughBeaumont

(24,461 posts)
21. Right, because there's nothing between "pie-in-the-sky" and MalWart.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 01:22 PM
Mar 2013

There's no reason to expect that things will get better for degreed individuals who get laid off through no fault of their own. There's no reason to expect business leaders will come to their senses and realize that without a gainfully employed population with excess money to spend, they don't have additional business. There's no reason to expect that we should concentrate on a more sustainable and fairer life; no better wages, no better working conditions, not a more progressive tax system.

Instead, it's far easier to call realists like me fucking whiners because I don't choose to buy into pie-in-the-sky bullshit peddled by Yahoo as a norm.

I'm not crying in any corner. What a dick comment. It's more a commentary on the fact that we're concentrating on the wrong things in life. The Europeans and Scandanavians put more reasoned officials in office, they have fairer taxation that gets them benefits that aren't tethered to how gainfully they're employed, they have better wages and CEOs who don't make 400 times their average worker.

We . . . hope to win the lottery. And that's what we present as THE way to save our economy in the land where it's easier to get arrested than it is to even get a mediocre paying job.

But hey, whatever. I'm just a fucking whiner and crier. Sure hope that Horatio Alger success happens for you. I'll bet the thousands upon thousands who know ObC already and have built apps that didn't get sold to Yahoo for $30 mill thought the same thing at one point in their lives.

cbdo2007

(9,213 posts)
23. How many tutorials on how to make apps did you read before responding??
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 01:40 PM
Mar 2013

Cause I looked through 3 of them and saved about 15 bookmarks to revisit tonight when I have more time, all in the 30 minutes since I last responded.

If you're a "realist" by getting introduced to a business opportunity and constantly second guessing yourself, I'm happy to be a "non-realist" (I guess??) who goes out and gets what I want. I think with your inaction you completely missed the point of the yahoo article and even the headline "Just do it..."

HughBeaumont

(24,461 posts)
30. You mean that just by reading three tutorials . . .
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:21 PM
Mar 2013

. . . anyone without ANY modicum of algorithms, business logic, programming theory, distribution, etc. is just going to be able to whip themselves up a whiz-bang app and make even a living, much less a fortune, off of that? It's really JUST that easy? Is that what you're going with . . . that because YOU can do it, ANYone can?

COME on.

cbdo2007

(9,213 posts)
36. Hey, it's a start...
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:41 PM
Mar 2013

better than just instantly cowering and crying in the corner about how unfair the world is to you.

CreekDog

(46,192 posts)
22. sounds like the solution to poverty --everyone creates a $30m app
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 01:35 PM
Mar 2013


screw the safety net, why didn't we think of this sooner?

Orrex

(63,185 posts)
35. Yeah? So?
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:28 PM
Mar 2013

When I was this jerk's age, I had already written half a dozen god-awful sonnets.

Can he say the same? Hmm?


I thought so.

Nye Bevan

(25,406 posts)
44. Smart kid. But I'm taken aback by the amount of miserable woe-is-me jealousy on display here.
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 05:37 PM
Mar 2013

"But I don't know how to program an app!" Well the woman who invented Spanx didn't know how to program an app either. But she had the idea of selling compression undergarments to make women appear slimmer, and now she is a billionaire. Anyone can have a good idea and run with it. But even if you don't, that doesn't make you a bad person. Starting up a new business is not for everyone.

HughBeaumont

(24,461 posts)
45. SIGH . . . . what part of this is "woe-is-me jealousy"?? What part of this is untruthful?
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 06:30 PM
Mar 2013
There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people who just want to work at a living wage. I mean, if you can start your own business and merely make a consistent living at it, that's nice and you should be happy. But don't for one second think that's what's going to save us or be presented as some "norm". For every Nick D'Aloisio, there are ten to a hundred thousand others that tried and failed. "Rags to Millions" stories are only news because they just don't happen very often when put up against the greater amount of failures.

Tell me what's false about that. Please. It might not be what you want to hear, but it's not false by any stretch.

The article was written as a paen to the plucky "Horatio Alger" legend.
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