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The Summly tale

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by Startacus Admin

At Startacus we like to give you a variety of articles. Sometimes we’ll write about a successful business. Sometimes we’ll write about an inspirational story in which the odds were stacked heavily against someone. Today, we have the happy opportunity to wrap the two into one.

Summly, when it was created, was akin to a summlydrop in the metaphorical ocean of the internet. That it was sold then, for a reported £19m to Yahoo is a bit of a surprise. That it was set up by a 15 year old in 2011 should make it more surprising still. And at the same time, it’s not. Founder Nick D’Aloisio has actually been in the technology business in one form another since he was 12. He began programming then and released an app for Apple’s iStore a few years later which became popular. Now 17, D’Aloisio is currently trying to decide which A-Levels to take at school. His business meanwhile, is chaired by Bart Swanson – a previous GM at Amazon, and hires a multitude of personnel from all over the world.

It’s telling that after 200 words, we still haven’t told you what Summly actually does. Its concept is relatively straightforward; it redefines news for the mobile world with, and we’re quoting here, ‘algorithmically generated summaries from hundreds of sources’. In other words, it tries to make reading the news whilst on the move with your mobile easy and enjoyable. Users select which news sources and topics they prefer, and Summly shortens it before sending it to you.

If we were to use it for this article then, I guess it would be along the lines of: Well done Mr. D’Aloisio. Summly is a great product, and we’re all very happy – and a little jealous – of your fantastic expansion.

Ethan Loughrey

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Published on: 5th April 2013

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