17 year old sells app to Yahoo! for 30 Million

61 replies
Hah!

What are your thoughts?
#app #million #sells #yahoo #year
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  • Profile picture of the author spamuback
    Just read the post on All Things D - Would have to say congrads to the young man - especially for the 90% cash and only 10 stock options. Says he's been coding since he was 12 - geez makes me feel old - I wasn't doing anything productive at 12. lol Curious to see what yahoos plan is to monetize and with less than a mill downloads so far and if the purchase wasn't greatly influenced by the developers age and the ability to capitalize on it for the mobile market and rebranding. Either way - good to see others acheive success.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Good for him. Sounds like a brilliant programmer to have that kind of success at that young age.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    Just proves that a good idea still pays off. I know you shouldn't reinvent the wheel, and follow proven methods, but it does pay off to stray and come up with your own ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    Yeah, sorry, this isn't as great of a story as one would believe. It's not about some kid in his house makes an app and sells it:

    Summly’s other investors, improbably enough, included Wendi Murdoch, Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono. The most important one was Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire, whose investment fund supported Mr. D’Aloisio’s idea early on, before it was even called Summly.



    “They took a gamble on me when I was a 15-year-old,” Mr. D’Aloisio said, by providing seed financing that let him hire employees and lease office space.



    I mean kudos to him for knowing how to get seed money and venture capital, but, the story is very misleading in my opinion until you get to that part.
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      These cute stories are skipping over the fact that Yahoo paid $30 Million for the patents, not just an app.
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    • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      Yeah, sorry, this isn't as great of a story as one would believe. It's not about some kid in his house makes an app and sells it:

      Summly's other investors, improbably enough, included Wendi Murdoch, Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono. The most important one was Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire, whose investment fund supported Mr. D'Aloisio's idea early on, before it was even called Summly.



      "They took a gamble on me when I was a 15-year-old," Mr. D'Aloisio said, by providing seed financing that let him hire employees and lease office space.



      I mean kudos to him for knowing how to get seed money and venture capital, but, the story is very misleading in my opinion until you get to that part.
      These stories are all part of 'myth building.' This particular type of story (young genius hits big) is relatively common with tech companies.
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    • Profile picture of the author theory expert
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      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      Yeah, sorry, this isn't as great of a story as one would believe. It's not about some kid in his house makes an app and sells it:

      Summly's other investors, improbably enough, included Wendi Murdoch, Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono. The most important one was Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire, whose investment fund supported Mr. D'Aloisio's idea early on, before it was even called Summly.



      "They took a gamble on me when I was a 15-year-old," Mr. D'Aloisio said, by providing seed financing that let him hire employees and lease office space.



      I mean kudos to him for knowing how to get seed money and venture capital, but, the story is very misleading in my opinion until you get to that part.
      Most stories are misleading which is why it is so hard for people to get ahead because they dont have a reality of what it takes.

      "What mankind could be if......
      "

      Thank you for pointing this out.
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      Yeah, sorry, this isn't as great of a story as one would believe. It's not about some kid in his house makes an app and sells it:

      Summly’s other investors, improbably enough, included Wendi Murdoch, Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono. The most important one was Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire, whose investment fund supported Mr. D’Aloisio’s idea early on, before it was even called Summly.



      “They took a gamble on me when I was a 15-year-old,” Mr. D’Aloisio said, by providing seed financing that let him hire employees and lease office space.



      I mean kudos to him for knowing how to get seed money and venture capital, but, the story is very misleading in my opinion until you get to that part.
      I agree whole heartedly and wrote my FULL thoughts on my blog. Little too much swearing for here.

      He's just some rich kid. His dad is some high roller trader and his mum is a well connected lawyer. So he didint even hook up the venture capital deals either.

      There is much more to this and so many people are making pay day out of it.

      In fact id go the opposite way of most people and say that this is both nothing special in the way of technology and hes not some genius programmer, hes just some rich kid who's going to attend oxford!

      Tell me, as if some brainy kid you'd still want to attend oxford instead of sitting huddled up in your cave of a room hacking away at your keyboard if you now had millions of dollars to do whatever you want?

      I mean even his mum said all they did was buy him a programming book when he was 13! Pfffft. Doesn't mean anything at all in terms of aknowledging his apparent programming super powers.

      Bill Gates came from money too, but Bill gates was known to spend countless hours in the schools library messing with computers, he would fall asleep there and his mother would go looking for him at night. He'd get a few hours sleep, be up at the crack of dawn and then sneak back out and hit the machines again. Bill Gates, like him or not (i dont like him much actually) is a 10,000 hour master!

      In terms of the tech. Its not AI, please.... its just an aggregator that uses a language program to reset words and combine words based on semantics.

      It seems like a big deal when you tell everyone a 17 year old did it, but when you consider the fact that he had a team of nerdlinger die hard coders smashing keys and drinking copius amounts of caffeine in a trendy office it doesnt seems so glorious after all does it.

      Im not hating, im just cynical about these things and im even more cynical about the media uptake... (people do realize Yahoo! is a public media company right).
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  • Profile picture of the author proguy7
    Yes, very impressive indeed.

    I saw an interview with him on the BBC - check out their website, I am sure it will be in the Technology section.

    He is a very eloquent young man and WELL DONE to him!
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  • Profile picture of the author dancaron
    The standard for what is considered "news," has already hit rock bottom. Automated summaries can't possibly improve anything. Good for him, bad for journalism.
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    I love how he pretty much dismisses questions about doing this sort of thing "at his age". He's a brilliant young man, articulate and smart. There are older business owners who can learn a lot from a fresh young startup. I can only hope that his success doesn't go to his head!
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  • Profile picture of the author Abhik
    Lucky fella..
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  • Profile picture of the author J50
    This comment on the BBC website makes me laugh.



    Lol wat.

    BBC News - Yahoo spends 'millions' on UK teen Nick D'Aloisio's Summly app
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  • Profile picture of the author smodha
    Good luck to Nick. Let's be honest, he wasn't going to make his millions in the UK (the country is run by idiots who lack innovation).

    I first used Summly about 18 months ago when I saw a review on a tech blog. It was quite buggy back then so he must have improved it loads to invoke a Yahoo buyout.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennisknows
    That's "getting rich quick" at it's finest... Many are going to say he's lucky or caught a break. Some may even say he's too young to have that much money...

    But if you read the fine print, it says he's a "programming whiz" which means he's worked his but off for sometime to get the knowledge that he has on programming which apparently, he's mastered.

    Hats off to him.. Very inspiring story indeed.

    Dennis
    The Marketing Menace

    PS

    Had to edit my post to comment on this.. This made me laugh too @InboxElephant.

    Originally Posted by InboxElephant View Post

    This comment on the BBC website makes me laugh.



    Lol wat.

    BBC News - Yahoo spends 'millions' on UK teen Nick D'Aloisio's Summly app
    Now that's a hater at his/her best. If people like this kid weren't "wasting time" coming up with stuff like this, would we even have the internet? Computers? The stuff his engineers and doctors rely on. There's an app for surgeons but I'm sure it's a waste of time. LOL...

    This person is CLUELESS...
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  • Profile picture of the author BamaGuy
    Regardless of whom was backing him, he got paid. People should know by now, it's hard to make it on your own (not impossible). So you should look for every opportunity to network and reach out to those who can help.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      His age is irrelevant - the real story is

      a programming whiz
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    I don't see why people are picking holes in this story.

    Sure you could argue he had help, his mom is a lawyer, he had capital early, you think the app is a waste of time etc. etc.

    But at the end of the day - he's a young guy who was focused and took action, got the support of people who could leverage his ideas and work, and got a massive pay-off.

    That's all good in my book - fair play to him. I wish we could see more young people doing so well.

    It's easy to complain about the way things are but it's young people like this that are going to help make our future as innovative as our past.

    Why waste your energy disrespecting his achievement?

    I think we should all wish him well and take it as a reminder that anything is possible - the fact that he's young just reminds us that it doesn't have to take decades to make good money.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      I don't see why people are picking holes in this story.

      Sure you could argue he had help, his mom is a lawyer, he had capital early, you think the app is a waste of time etc. etc.

      But at the end of the day - he's a young guy who was focused and took action, got the support of people who could leverage his ideas and work, and got a massive pay-off.

      That's all good in my book - fair play to him. I wish we could see more young people doing so well.

      It's easy to complain about the way things are but it's young people like this that are going to help make our future as innovative as our past.

      Why waste your energy disrespecting his achievement?

      I think we should all wish him well and take it as a reminder that anything is possible - the fact that he's young just reminds us that it doesn't have to take decades to make good money.
      Because Andy, quite frankly I'm old enough to remember the last round of "whiz kid millionaires" Dot com boom (then bubble and burst) ring any bells?

      It's kind of a blessing and a curse to be old enough to see "cylces" such as this come and go.

      As I said, kudos to the kid, but let's get to the real story:

      Kid who already comes from affluent family, gets hooked up with seed money and venture capital. Earns millions.

      What I described above happens hundreds maybe thousands or more times a year. It's being blown out of proportion.

      The fact he's only 17 and Yahoo is involved is what makes any of this a "news story."

      I'm not a hater, I'm a true blue dyed in the wool capitalist. Good for the kid, but in typical news media tradition, the real story isn't being told but glossed over for the dumb downed general public.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Yahoo once again overpaying; this investment will be written off in a couple of years. This is so easy to replicate, or do a variant of it which could easily dilute its presence.
        And that's what people don't like, isn't it? You see something and think "I could've done that"....or "that wasn't hard to make"...or "someone will copy that"...

        And the truth is - you DIDN'T think to do it - replicating is always easier than originating. The world is full of "also rans" but short on innovators.

        Kid who already comes from affluent family, gets hooked up with seed money and venture capital. Earns millions.
        If it were that simple - every affluent kid with connections would be doing it...but they aren't. The money and connections certainly help but how many teens take advantage of it to accomplish something on their own?

        Why is it people have so much trouble saying "good job" - "what a smart kid" or "great story"....but instead try to poke holes and provide excuses for why it was "him and not me"?
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          If it were that simple - every affluent kid with connections would be doing it...but they aren't. The money and connections certainly help but how many teens take advantage of it to accomplish something on their own?

          Why is it people have so much trouble saying "good job" - "what a smart kid" or "great story"....but instead try to poke holes and provide excuses for why it was "him and not me"?
          Kay, I'm not attacking the kid. I'm actually attacking the credibility of the story itself. This isn't "news." As I said, people get seed money and venture capital and go on to produce 6,7,8 figures all the time.

          Further, you don't even bother to acknowledge what I said in the post:

          As I said, kudos to the kid, but let's get to the real story:

          I'm not making any "excuses" as to why it was him and not me. That's just pure projection on your part. If you read my very first post on the issue, my problem is not with the kid, but the way in which this story is presented. Nothing more, nothing less.
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      • Profile picture of the author PeterKnight
        My thoughts about this story are:

        1) Is this a blessing for the kid, or not? There are plenty of people who have outward success early in life and it hinders them more then it helps them. It's hard to tell from the outside looking in if this is such a fantastic thing for him. Honestly, I'd rather think it puts a lot of pressure on him.

        2) Some people might get the false impression that people can easily make millions with apps, when this guy is an outlier.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
          Originally Posted by PeterKnight View Post

          My thoughts about this story are:

          2) Some people might get the false impression that people can easily make millions with apps, when this guy is an outlier.
          This was exactly the point I was trying to make when I brought up the "dot com boom."

          That's back in the days when venture capitalists were throwing money at anything "dot com" like monkeys fling...well you know what.

          Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of money to be made in apps. I think (I have no way to substantiate it but given a lot of WSO's on the subject and if you take the creators at face value) a lot of people on this forum are either loudly (creators of the WSOs) or quietly (those who don't want to spill the beans) making 4-6 figures on apps.

          My concern is that history is going to repeat itself,and because of this story, you're going to now have a bunch of "me too" venture capitalists throwing money at anything "app"

          and as I said, thus continues the "cycle."
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      Why waste your energy disrespecting his achievement?
      There's a lot more going on in this story than a 16-17yo kid could have done.... Investment money, patents, advanced coding, licensing deals and so on. But the media will have you believe he came home from school every day, worked on his app and then sold it for $30 Million. Some people just want to know the actual details.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

        There's a lot more going on in this story than a 16-17yo kid could have done.... Investment money, patents, advanced coding, licensing deals and so on. But the media will have you believe he came home from school every day, worked on his app and then sold it for $30 Million. Some people just want to know the actual details.
        I'm sure that's the case - but we're all accountable for our own success, so why not just let people make up their own mind about what they take from the story?

        It's obvious that the kid had help - the story even says it.

        This is a marketing forum, surely we're all sensible enough to know that there's more to it than a get rich quick app story?

        It's not like we're all going to run off and try to become app millionaires just because we see a story of someone that did it.
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        nothing to see here.

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        • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
          what do I think? If I was his mother, I would be so proud of him.
          Good for him!

          I love stories like this - I find them very inspiring
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  • Profile picture of the author theory expert
    Banned
    Maybe I am just a bitter old man, but, I like to know the real back story behind anyone's success. Great for the kid, but, let's not make this story seem like a christmas story. I wish my mom told me there was no santa when I was a kid. However, instead I had to find out from some guy across the street and I was heart broken. Again, maybe a bitter old man, but, thanks for the backstory.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Yahoo once again overpaying; this investment will be written off in a couple of years. This is so easy to replicate, or do a variant of it which could easily dilute its presence.

    By the way, there were quite a few stakeholders in his company so he doesn't get all of it. Among them, the actors Stephen Fry and Ashton Kutcher.

    But good on him for finding a gap in the market and exploiting it.
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    • Profile picture of the author CPAInter
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      Yahoo once again overpaying; this investment will be written off in a couple of years. This is so easy to replicate, or do a variant of it which could easily dilute its presence.

      By the way, there were quite a few stakeholders in his company so he doesn't get all of it. Among them, the actors Stephen Fry and Ashton Kutcher.

      But good on him for finding a gap in the market and exploiting it.
      They're not overpaying as such. Sure, if they were just purchasing the App, that would be overpaying.

      But what they're doing is so much more.

      Yahoo are purchasing the company (and subsequently shutting down the App) for Nick himself - he's going to become one of the most influential faces of Yahoo, they're going to use him to revive their sorry asses. He's going to provide a 'hip' mask for the company, they'll be able to relate to the younger, tech savvy generation further & they hope that this purchase will allow them to do that.

      IF it works, this could be a multi-billiondollar payback.

      Oh, and they want the technology used in the App.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    One thing I have found is that these days people are no longer in awe of of people who achieve 'great things'. I am not saying this guy has achieved anything great, but I remember back in the 90s people would be in awe of rich lists, great inventions and what not. These days, people just shrug their head as if to say, 'so what?'
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    • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      One thing I have found is that these days people are no longer in awe of of people who achieve 'great things'. I am not saying this guy has achieved anything great, but I remember back in the 90s people would be in awe of rich lists, great inventions and what not. These days, people just shrug their head as if to say, 'so what?'
      Yes, because everyone has been lied to so much.
      • Dot Com
      • Bernie Madoff
      • Lance Armstrong
      • Barry Bonds
      • Financial Crisis

      The list goes on and on. Success stories are often manufactured as a sort of narrative to lead other people to the slaughter. In fact, it's truly annoying how much credit some people get in general. Steve Jobs - may he rest in peace - was clearly an innovative business man but 52,500 other people work for Apple.

      So much of business success comes down to perception.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sara F
    Good for him to have so much influential people to back up his idea in that age. Not exactly the next Mark Z. but I think he is better than Mark, considering the age difference. This news inspire me to keep inventing new idea for my web content, because a really good idea can worth that much. I think this is why Pat Flynn is planning to launch a new apps, he realize that money comes from Mobile phone user is better than ordinary computer user.
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  • Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

    Hah!

    What are your thoughts?
    Here's my thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author jvjoe
    Nice thread.
    This story goes out to those who like
    giving excuses about everything and anything,
    waiting for the perfect time or some magic bag should
    fall from the sky, do dig out a bag of gold
    at from their backyard. Just like Andy Henry
    "he's a young guy who was focused and took action"
    the question is
    "What have You done to make an impact
    in your life or those around you?"

    Just a thought!
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  • Profile picture of the author Malcolm Thomas
    It's great that he was able to reach success at such a young age. He had a great idea and more importantly he executed it.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheInfoMarket
    I think this story shows there's no such thing as easy and overnight success. This kid improved his programming skills over 5 years to get to this position. Sure there are lots of other factors like the people backing him, but if he hadn't put the work in, this would never have happened.

    As is typical with buyouts like this, Yahoo is actually going to shut down the app. So Summly will be gone, but the algorithm that runs it will be incorporated into Yahoo products. I doubt moves like this are actually going to help Yahoo in the long-term. The never did adapt to the changes taking place on the internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    amazing deal for that kid

    bottom line. I'd love it, if it were me
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  • Profile picture of the author DotComBum
    No need to study anymore, he can retire now and live a comfortable life.
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  • Profile picture of the author yosk
    It's just look awesome!
    Good job Kiddo

    I wish we all do will be millionaire!
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by yosk View Post

      It's just look awesome!
      Good job Kiddo

      I wish we all do will be millionaire!
      Just keep calling innovative entrepreneurs "kiddos" and you'll be a millionnaire in no time!...

      His mind got him to where he is at.
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    Yes he lives in my area.
    All his hard work paid off.
    You can't go wrong with software.
    It's what's been working for me online for over 10 years.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattlovett
    Awesome. Just read about it, inspiring.
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  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    My thoughts? I will tell you my thoughts. Every time I read a story like this all I want to do is kill myself, realizing how pathetic I am in comparison.
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  • Profile picture of the author tjaysen70
    What are my thoughts? You ask? Well I wish the world was full of more kids like this, who contribute to society and bust their ass to get to a place worth going. This kid would've been successful if you dropped him off in the desert in Dubai and left him there. I'm stoked that he has already achieved such massive success this early in his life, as he will likely continue to provide new innovation to the world and make our lives better!
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  • Profile picture of the author bluemonster
    Very inspiring .. at the same time I read a story on Gizmodo how I made a 15 year old app developer cry Another funny side of these kids.
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  • Profile picture of the author joaquin112
    The problem with this kind of stories is that very, very few people actually reach that kind of success regardless of how much they work. Think how many dead apps sit in the Apple Store, how many dead websites haven't made more than what the domain registration cost. How many genius individuals have tried their luck creating software that nobody uses...
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by joaquin112 View Post

      How many genius individuals have tried their luck creating software that nobody uses...
      Those said people are only a genius relative to their experience and success within the confines of a particular model.

      If they don't succeed at doing X, then they aren't a genius at X.

      The bottom line is, with the "genius" aspect aside, he made something that has a solid, fuctional and in-demand use and it paid dividends.
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      • Profile picture of the author depp12
        A nice story but it seems to be a very common thing these days. Kid, bedroom, makes millions.

        Then you find out there were loads of backers and developers doing the hard work from the start.

        Maybe its a better press story if a young kid becomes a millionaire. Though, he has been offered a job within yahoo so he must have talent.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    It's looking like a $30 Million publicity stunt that's going to pay off for many years to come. Everything Yahoo has launched themselves over the past 10 years has fizzled out. It's very possible that they'll start putting their new golden boy's name on projects to help get them over. Apple did that with Steve Jobs, who actually invented nothing in his entire existence with Apple.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    This dude was super smart, great idea and great follow through. He obviously had help along the way but wow he's the man!
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  • Profile picture of the author IMStrategus
    Consistency beats talent any time.

    Just spend more time at something than any one else is willing to and you'll get anything you want.
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    I lie on marketing forums. Social media is for fun, pics & hook ups.

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    • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
      The first thing that came to mind is about time someone did something lolol.

      And then I started to think I know this kids reader is for mobile, but if uhhhh google or RSS is dying by July? How smart is Yahoo???

      Maybe someone here can give us some details as I haven't been following tech much lately and could really care less about RSS or doing anything else with my cell other than taking credit cards lolol.
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      Use Feeder Sites, Articles, And Social Media Sites To Generate Unstoppable Traffic, FREE! Click Here Now To Get It For FREE
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  • Profile picture of the author himanuzo
    Wooow.... I am not a programmer... I am only a marketer... I admire him!
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  • watch now ppl will go out to try to create an app and email Yahoo "hey wanna buy my app? How's 10 million? I don't need 30 million like the other guy" lol
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    “The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them”― Jim Rohn
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    That is an amazing story. That is massive success.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    More info has surfaced.

    The Teen Who Got $30 Million From Yahoo Did Not Build His Startup's App (Or Invent Its Technology) - Business Insider

    Now I'd like to know how the $30 Million really breaks down. Nick's camp stated early on that he held 90% of the company, but that seems suspect now.

    The media is a joke. Report the shocking headlines first and ask questions weeks later.
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  • Profile picture of the author ebusyness
    You've gotta give him credit. If I'd stuck to playing the flute from age 8 i'd probably be one of the best in England now... but hey, I didn't enjoy it. He obviously did!
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