I love the sound of money rolling in.
A 17-year-old Londoner has launched a new app that summarises news stories for smartphones after getting over $1m in funding. The Summly app started out life as TrimIt, getting 100,000 downloads last year before private equity firm Horizons Ventures spotted it. The firm, run by Li Ka-Shing - the eleventh wealthiest person in the …
I love the sound of money rolling in.
An app which sucks stuff from social networks - summarizes it - spews it back onto social networks.
The boy is indeed a genius.
...as google has just found out.
Wonder how long it will be before:
A) He is sued over copyright
B) Someone comes along and sue him for stealing their idea.
C) the summarizing algorithm misses out the wrong parts of the story completely changing the meaning and someone sues him for defamation
If I recall correctly, newspaper copy is written to be trimmed. If another story needs more column inches, it's trivial to remove paragraphs from the end of the story without substantially changing the meaning (the story loses detail and colour instead). I don't know if the same writing style is applied to online copy, but it doesn't sound completely implausible.
"Li Ka-Shing - the eleventh wealthiest person in the world"
Yep, he's my boss's boss.
So to summliarize:
A 17-year-old Londoner ... sank ... into ... celebs like Ashton Kutcher, Yoko Ono and Stephen Fry, and tech folk like Joanna Shields and Mark Pincus. Nick D'Aloisio came ... while trying ... a deep dive. D'Aloisio started ... on ... top
.."likely to be bought by Apple/Google/whoever", if the VC funding doesn't mean that the legalities and price aren't too fanciful.
The little sprat was on BBC this morning, stating that he hoped to monetize the system by charging people to link to the stories that were summarilisationified.
I suspect this will see him in big trouble - you can't go charging for other people's content without licencing, right?
Hmmm.... Even without the legals, it'd not probably work. I want to know where my summarised news is coming from (trusted sources and all that), so the app would have to tell me. So if I see an interesting summary from the BBC on Chinese politics I can either:
a) go to my BBC app and if it's not on the front page find it in the 'China' section - three clicks max
b) click on the 'go to source' button, and probably have to click 'yes' to a 'we're going to charge you' box.
I'd not be willing to pay very much to save me 1 click.
Yeah but who's going to believe that the button you click on goes to the web site it says it will? Oh hang on, the sort of fuckwit who would be tempted to use crap like this in the first place.
Just tried it out. Nice how you can't add your own sources. I also liked the noisy, garish animated tutorial that's necessary only because the interface lacks discoverability. A million bucks for this? Well done whatsisname; as an app developer, he makes a first-rate salesman.
facebook paid 1 billion for the app equivelent of smearing vasaline on a camera lens....
i suspect the whole "its an app" catchphrase will do as well as "we have a website" in 99/2000. At least until everyone works out its all a load of nathan barley self congratulating circle jerkery and the whole thing collapses ala first dotcom crash
So presumably he's going to marry Yoko and then it'll all go down the tubes?
...or it'll take eleven long years before somebody shoots him
... the sum of all lies?
(sorry -- its friday, and well --
Good luck to him, no doubt he'll rake it in just as quickly as an investment banker has money thrown at him.
I'm sure I know people that have regularly made perl scripts far more complicated than his news "algorithm".
It will be popular as people have become so lazy then are unable to source multiple newsfeeds. The problem is, will it create a section of people that don't care if all of the summary news feeds are from a certain biased news source? Murdoch supporting it is always worrying.
Hyped by another load of early investors looking for another bunch of mug punters to cash in on.