Today - Season 62
Peter Kramer / NBC

TODAY   |  March 27, 2013

Teen: Selling my app to Yahoo wasn't about $30M

Nick D’Aloisio, 17, became a multi-millionaire when he sold his app, Summly, to Yahoo. The teenager talks about the big sale, saying “it will be different” working for the tech giant, and that he’s excited about the future of his technology.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> let us begin with the 17-year-old whose simple idea just made him millions. we'll talk to him in a moment. but first, his remarkable story. meet nick d'aloisio. regular teenager and new multimillionaire. designing apps on and off since the age of 12.

>> i was revising for history exams and using google and search engines. i realized there was a gap in the market.

>> at age 15, he designed sumly, apple picked it up as one of its new and noteworthy apps. nick got a call from a hong kong investor.

>> when are we going to meet you? i was like, before or after school. this is my friend, steven.

>> the app's been featured in british commercials. works by summarizing web content for mobile devices .

>> gives you 400 characters. that's more than a tweet but less than a fill article. it identifies key points that matter most and summarizes it into a handful.

>> gets just the sentences that matter.

>> now one of the youngest tech millionaires after reportedly selling his app to yahoo! for around $30 million. nick showed us his app and found a story about himself.

>> that story was nice to read because it was a summary. there's a -- there's the example.

>> and 17-year-old multimillionaire, how does that sound, nick? nick d'aloisio with us exclusively. nice to have you here. good morning.

>> thank you.

>> does money corrupt in 48 hours ? have you changed in the last 48 hours ?

>> no. not yet.

>> no?

>> no. i think my motivation was never about the money. it was about the technology and the product. so because of that, i don't think going forward it will feel that different.

>> but have you at least started to plan a splurge or two?

>> well, i can't touch the money. it's like in a trust fund with my parents. so i'll be managing it with them.

>> i was going to ask, how did you come up with the software? let's face it, we'll never understand. instead, how does it feel to have sold it, to have this as your baby, you've been working on it for a few years. and now it's become so big and yahoo! has bought it.

>> i'm excited that we've sold it because yahoo!'s a great company to be joining now. i think with marisa meyer there as ceo, as a technology it's great to focus on mobile and applications.

>> he went right there and buttered up the ceo. is it not hard to give up control? it's not sumly anymore, it will be swallowed by this company. do you feel weird about the bird flying out of the nest?

>> it's going to be different. and going to be different being in a larger company. it's my first job basically.

>> you're 17.

>> yeah. so that's exciting, as well. will be fun. but i think the plan is to take our technology, this summerization algorithm and integrate it into as many different parts as possible.

>> there has to be funny moments. you developed this software. you start talking to investors, venture capitalists, you show up, and you're a teenager. were people shocked?

>> yeah. when i was 15, i released a demo of the app. and the hong kong billionaire, li ka-shing, reached out to me. we had a phone call where they didn't know my age. at the end of the call, they were like, when should we meet? we'll fly to london. i was like, before or after school. yeah, college or something --

>> i'm looking at you, i'm listening to you. you are clearly an incredibly bright young man. do you have -- is there a role model for you out there? do you look at a mark zuckerberg or bill gates as someone you'd like to pattern your career after?

>> yeah. mark zuckerberg 's obviously inspirational because he's a young ceo of a big company and started when he was 19, as well. i think steve jobs is also inspirational for me because he was persistent in doing what he wanted to do. that's why apple became what it is.

>> do you have any other ideas?

>> that you could whisper?

>> not yet. i wish.

>> we want to get in on the ground floor on your next idea.

>> okay.

>> congratulations.

>> thank you.

>> you seem like you still have your feet firmly on the ground, as well, which is nice, nick. thank you.