Life On The Job


Nicholas D'Aloisio [born Nicholas D'Aloisio-Montilla] 1 November 1995- Inventor of Summly app

Nick D'Aloisio
(Source: Telegraph)

"Nick was born in London to expat Australian parents – Lou, a commodities trader, and Diana, a lawyer – in 1996. The family moved back to Melbourne shortly after Nick was born. When he turned seven (and his brother, Matthew, was three), the D’Aloisios relocated to Wimbledon, south-west London, where they have been ever since." (Source: Telegraph)

"Nick D'Aloisio (born Nicholas D'Aloisio-Montilla November 1, 1995) is a British-born Australian entrepreneur and computer programmer who created Summly which is a summarization, artificial intelligence technology developed with SRI International.

D'Aloisio has been recognised as the youngest person to receive a round of venture capital in technology at just 15 years of age. As of March 2013, Summly was sold to Yahoo for a reported $30 million US dollars making him one of the youngest self-made millionaires ever.

D'Aloisio was born in London in 1995 to Lou Montilla, a vice president of Morgan Stanley and Diana D'Aloisio, a lawyer.

D'Aloisio has lived in Melbourne and Perth. D'Aloisio grew up in London, United Kingdom. He is a student at King's College School in Wimbledon, London, where he received an academic scholarship. He lives in London."
(Source: Wikipedia)

 

Education

D'Aloisio was educated at King's College School, an independent school for boys in Wimbledon, south west London. In the summer of 2014, he took A-level examinations in three subjects.

D'Aloisio is currently [2020] the founder of a startup called Sphere, which has raised $30M in investment to date. He is also a student at Oxford University, where he will begin the BPhil Graduate Programme in Philosophy in October 2019 which allows for automatic progression onto the doctorate course (DPhil), and has published six papers in peer-reviewed philosophy journals.

Experiences & Opportunities

Summly

In March 2011, D'Aloisio [aged 15] launched an iOS app named Trimit, which used an algorithm to condense text such as emails and blog posts into a summary of 1000, 500, or 140-character text. With 100,000 downloads, the app was featured as on the Apple App Store. Shortly afterwards, Trimit attracted the attention of business magnate Li Ka-Shing, who provided 16-year-old D'Aloisio with US$300,000 in venture capital investment. After gathering feedback, D'Aloisio re-designed the app and renamed it Summly in December 2011.

Summly aimed to solve perceived problems with the way news articles are presented on smartphones, with the initial version of Summly being downloaded by over 200,000 users. He hired a team from Israel, including a scientist named Inderjeet Mani, who specialised in natural language processing, to improve the app. With corporate support, in November 2012, D'Aloisio received US$1 million in new venture funding from celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Fry, in addition to Li Ka-Shing. In March 2013, D'Aloiso sold Summly to Yahoo! for approximately US$30 million. He joined Yahoo! as a product manager the same month.

Yahoo News Digest

In January 2014, D'Aloisio announced the launch of Yahoo News Digest at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. An evolution of Summly, Yahoo News Digest provides mobile users with a summary of important news of the day in the form of a twice-a-day digest. The articles are automatically and manually curated, as well as summarised into key units of information, known as "Atoms", which include maps, infographics, quotes and Wikipedia extracts. The Verge praised the app, stating, "Yahoo! News Digest is the boldest and most visually impressive app the company has released since Yahoo! Weather last year." It was the winner of the 2014 Apple Design Award. D'Aloisio resigned from Yahoo! in October 2015.

Sphere

In late 2015, D'Aloisio co-founded a new startup called Sphere Knowledge. Whilst yet to be made public, Sphere is said to be knowledge-sharing service where users can swap information via instant messaging. As of March 2019, the Financial Times reports that the company has raised US$30 million.
(Source: PeoplePill)


Summly

The handsomely designed app summarizes news stories — all using a natural language processing algorithm — in only a few sentences and in under 400 characters. Users can then swipe through topics and stories quickly and click in to be directed to the full story on the original news site.


Daily Mail
(Source: Daily Mail)

Summly originally started as a prototype app called Trimmit, which soon garnered attention and seed funding from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s investment firm.

In no time, it had a range of other investors, ponying up about $1.5 million, including trendy ones like Ashton Kutcher and tech types like Zynga’s Mark Pincus, Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg and Airbnb’s Brian Chesky.

He enjoys the humanities, cricket and rugby. He does not even study computing at school - you get the impression there would be little point anyway.

"I want to do philosophy at university and I'm studying Chinese and Russian at school. I find the product and the design of the product much more interesting than the programming," he says.

He was nine years old when he was given his first Macintosh laptop - "one of the old ones," he says with a wry smile - and set about teaching himself animation software before progressing through iMovie, Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro in his Wimbledon bedroom.

But it was only a matter of time before he started experimenting with apps. He downloaded the iPhone development kit and designed his first piece of software when he was 12.

Called SongStumblr, it was a geo-social music discovery tool which allowed people to share music both with those in the same room and globally.

Next came FingerMill, which was basically a treadmill for your finger. "It was awful but at the time there was only a few thousand apps on the App store and it did manage a couple of hundred downloads," remembers Mr D'Aloisio.

He followed it up with FaceMood - an app which analysed keywords in Facebook statuses and profiles to suggest what mood someone was in at any given time.

By this point Mr D'Aloisio's hobby had set him upon an important path.

"It introduced me to the world of algorithms," he says.

Mr D'Aloisio has plans to extend his app beyond standard webpages to tackle social networks Algorithms are sets of step-by-step instructions that carry out procedures designed to achieve an end goal. They are increasingly used to filter the mass of information on the internet - and proved to be the inspiration for Summly.

The first iteration of the app, called TrimIt, clocked up 100,000 downloads and caught the eye of Horizons Ventures.

The private equity investment firm is controlled by Li Ka-Shing, the Chinese billionaire who ranks as the eleventh wealthiest person in the world according to the Forbes rich list. His previous investments include Skype, Facebook and Spotify.

His firm sank $250,000 (£159,000) into the project.
(Source:
BBC News)

Update: LinkedIn

"I am the Founder/CEO of a new technology company in stealth mode (which has raised over $30M in funding). Previously, I founded Summly (acquired by Yahoo for $30M) and spent time at both Yahoo (Product Manager, Yahoo News Digest) and Airbnb (Entrepreneur in Residence).

I also began the highly prestigious BPhil graduate programme in Philosophy at Oxford (which allows for automatic progression onto the second year of the DPhil i.e. PhD programme) in Oct 2019 following my undergraduate programme there. I received an unusual unconditional offer for the BPhil on account of my academic publications."

 

Links:

bullet.gif (981 bytes)ABC News: Yahoo makes British-Australian teen a millionaire

ABC News
bullet.gif (981 bytes)All Things D: Dec 13 2012:
MobileMobileMobile: Yahoo Eyes Hipster Teen-Founded Summly News App


All things D
bullet.gif (981 bytes)All Things D: Jan 7 2013
Two New News Apps, Designed for Mobile Phones


AllthingsD
bullet.gif (981 bytes)All Things D: March 25 2013
Yahoo Acquires Hipster Mobile News Reader Summly for Close to $30M


All things D
bullet.gif (981 bytes)All Things D: March 25 2013
Yahoo Paid $30M in Cash for 18 Months of Young Summly Entrepreneur's Time


All things D
bullet.gif (981 bytes)BBC News: Technology 28 Dec 2011

BBC

bullet.gif (981 bytes)Wikipedia

Wikipedia
bullet.gif (981 bytes)Wired

Wired
bullet.gif (981 bytes)Nick D'Aloisio - Twitter

Twitter
bullet.gif (981 bytes)ABC - 7.30: 26 March 2013

7.30
bullet.gif (981 bytes)Financial Review: 27 January 2016

Financial Review
 

 

Activities

bullet.gif (981 bytes) Coding is fun! Create a new app!

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

ICT capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: Information and communication technology (ICT) capability

Critical & Creative ThinkingAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical & Creative Thinking

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

 

1. You are to go to Code.org to learn to code.

Code.org

2. Start at the beginning lessons (Course 2 onwards) and work you way up to creating an app as Nick has done!

code courses

3. Report to On the Job about your new app!

 

bullet.gif (981 bytes)Online: A Fairy Tale Story or Fable?

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

Literacy Australian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

Critical & Creative ThinkingAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical & Creative Thinking

ICT capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability 

1. Read about this inventor from the information and links above.

2. Using the following websites, convert this real story into either a Fairy Tale or Fable to encourage young people to strive for their dreams as Nick has done.

For the Fable: what will be your moral?

Elements Found in Fairy Tales

Elements found in Fairy Tales
Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables
   

YouTube: The Elements of a Fairy Tale:
https://youtu.be/fbyWUxD5HD8

 

 

3. Write his story as a Fairytale or Fable using VoiceThread or Animoto

Voicethread Animoto

4. Create a collection of photos about yourself and save to your computer. Play with Stupeflix [Free], an easy to use video making website or app and create a video of your fable as it applies to you and your dreams.

Stupeflix

Material sourced from:
BBC News: Technology
Wikipedia


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