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Teen's multimillion-dollar Yahoo payday before 18th birthday

Ben Grubb (via SMH) | March 26, 2013
At just 17, former Perth and Melbourne resident Nick D'Aloisio is now one of the world's youngest self-made multimillionaires, after tech giant Yahoo acquired his firm for a reported $28.7 million.

"I like shoes, I will buy a new pair of Nike trainers and I'll probably get a new computer but at the moment I just want to save and bank it. I don't have many living expenses," he told the London Evening Standard.

D'Aloisio told Fairfax Media last year that he began his journey with computers when he was eight, using Apple's movie making software iMovie before progressing to the more professional video software Final Cut Pro.

"I basically begged my parents for six months to get [an Apple] computer," he said of his father, an investment banker, and his mother, a lawyer. "And when I finally got it, instead of using it for just watching videos or browsing the web, I kind of had an interest to create things."

A lot of D'Aloisio's coverage in the media has been positive, with some describing him as "telegenic" and a "wunderkind". But the coverage wasn't always so glowing.

In 2011 an app writer for technology website Gizmodo, Casey Chan, published D'Aloisio's Trimit app (now Summly) as "worst app of the week" after D'Aloisio bombarded his office with emails.

"Over the course of a few days, D'Aloisio ... barraged me with over a hundred emails about Trimit," Chan said in a post entitled "How I made a 15-year-old app developer cry".

"I saw him go from calm to excited to a nervous wreck ..." (In comparison, Fairfax was sent six emails chasing up when last year's article would be published.)

Asked for a response last year to the Gizmodo post, D'Aloisio said his actions occurred at a "very early stage of development". "Obviously I'm still learning and really excited about everything that's happened with Summly," he said. "Dealing with the current media attention is something I'm unexpectedly going to have to get used to."

In a statement, Yahoo said it was excited to share that it was acquiring Summly and that D'Aloisio and a team would join the technology giant "in the coming weeks".

D'Aloisio will be based at Yahoo's central London office.

"At the age of 15, Nick D'Aloisio created the Summly app at his home in London," Yahoo said in its statement. "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."

Yahoo said most articles and web pages were formatted for browsing with mouse clicks and that "the ability to skim them on a phone or a tablet can be a real challenge - we want easier ways to identify what's important to us".

Former Google executive Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo in July 2012 as part of efforts by the struggling internet search pioneer to reinvent itself.

D'Aloisio said he was excited to be working with Mayer.

"The thing that's really exciting me about Yahoo is the fact that Marissa Mayer is now their CEO, who is a product person," he said.

 

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