Anniversary of the First Apple Mac
Script of a talk delivered in chapel to the Sixth Form:
A south London schoolboy has launched an Apple iPhone app this week, after raising $1m (£620,000) from investors before his 17th birthday.
Nick D’Aloisio, who lives with his family and still gets an allowance every month, developed the app, Summly, in between revising for his mock GCSEs last year.
Summly condenses news articles into three key paragraphs that fit onto an iPhone screen. Users can customise the news categories, and link to the original article if they like the summary. A prototype attracted an investment of around $300,000 in November 2011 from Horizons Ventures , the private technology investment company of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing also a backer of Facebook, Siri and Spotify.
The investment arrived on Nick’s 16th birthday making him one of the youngest people ever to attract venture capital funding. Other backers include the celebrities Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Fry and Yoko Ono.
The prototype was downloaded more than 150,000 times and was chosen by Apple as its App of the Week in the UK and other countries. A company was created behind the app, and Nick teamed up with experts in London, and the Stanford Research Institute, to work on the technology and design.
Nick’s mother, a full-time lawyer, became a director and owns shares on his behalf.
“I designed Summly because I felt that my generation wasn’t consuming traditional news anymore," said Nick.
So what does this mean for us? Be adventurous, think big thoughts, don't assume that you don't have what it takes to make a big splash.
As we're in chapel, let us pray:
Lord Jesus as we sit in chapel
We thank you for creating apple
For all the bites and ram and bits
For all successful internet hits
We thank you for creating mice
for Netflix which is really nice
We thank you for online games
and for those little website frames
But most of all we thank you Lord,
For keeping us from getting bored
And supplying with your infinite skill
Software that is just so brill
It finds the right ending phrase
So to you be honour and be praise!