In a world that increasingly relies on technology and software, app developers and tech leaders are taking a large part of public attention from movie stars, musicians, and scientists. Steve Jobs has long become a role model, Elon Musk is the modern day Christopher Columbus. In turn, startups have become the new rock bands, as an increasing number of youngsters opt out of finishing college to learn coding by themselves and strive to succeed with their startups. Setting out on the path innovation as early as teenage years, some of them become widely successful entrepreneurs and leaders. As the modern world and its future rests in the hands of software, it is no wonder that a lot of these young minds are software and app developers.
Young App Developers — Nick D’Aloisio
Like most young bright minds in app development, Nick D’Aloisio achieved success early and swiftly. He had learnt to code himself at 12 and began with iPhone app development in 2008. At 15, he received his first investment: Li Ka Shing decided to back D’Aloisio news summarization app Summly.
This was another major deal that signaled business is putting faith into young app developers like Nick D’Aloisio: Li Ka Shing had previously invested in Facebook, Spotify, and Siri. More so, Summly claimed that among its angel investors were Ashton Kutcher and Marc Pincus, the founder of Zynga.
Be it as it may, Summly said they had over 500,000 users who thumbed through 30 million summaries in 4 weeks since the iPhone app was launched. D’Aloisio’s surge into app development turned out to be a swift success: Summly was soon acquired by Yahoo in a $30 million deal. As a result of acquisition, the iPhone app was shut down, but the technology behind it is still used by Yahoo. Two Summly employees joined the company along with D’Aloisio, who decided to stay only for 18 months: like other app developers, he wanted to continue with his entrepreneurial endeavors.
Young App Developers — Alex Godin
The son of a marketing guru Seth Godin, Alex has spent his teenage years in a highly productive way: he won a hackathon, he traveled to India as he planned to produce a documentary, and he started a DJ business.
Nevertheless, Godin’s most prominent achievement is making it to the ranks of TechStars — a well-known startup accelerator in NYC, particularly for its rigorous selection process (TechStars only opens doors to 1,2% of applicants).
TechStarts is only for the most ambitious and talented app developers and entrepreneurs, and Godin was a perfect fit. In 2011, he learnt how to code in 7 days (although he knew HTML and CSS, he had never written a dynamic website before). Then, with the help of a few friends, he managed to develop a prototype app during a week-long winter break, launching it at New York Tech Meetup.
The app launch was soon overshadowed by big news. Like D’Aloisio, Godin has ventured into entrepreneurship by founding Dispatch, a startup offering a project management software tool that replaces email.
Today, Godin helms slash-hyphen — one of the world’s first Slack consulting agencies. Slash-hyphen helps companies to make the most of Slack with custom software, architecture consulting, and employee training. Thus, it looks like Godin didn’t venture too far off from software development, and chances are high his new company employees app developers as talented as himself.
We will continue sharing young app developers success stories in the following posts.