A 17 year old computer programmer hit the jackpot in Britain last month when his smartphone app Summly was picked up by Yahoo for a reported US$30 million. The app’s creator, Nick D’Aloisio, became the latest fresh-faced poster boy for the new, Web-based economy.
The underlying message from D’Aloisio’s success – it is hoped – is that anyone can do it, regardless of a person’s social or financial background. Although, for the record, D’Aloisio’s own background is slightly more privileged than most.
But as traditional blue-collar jobs and manufacturing industries continue to disappear, business ideas based around technology and the Internet are the way of the future – or so the argument goes.Summly maker D’Aloisio says just do it – but even he used high-profile connections to achieve success
Yet it’s a logic which appears to have caught parts of continental Europe flat-footed, with legislators and bank managers often dismissive of the potential of tech startups. The feeling is that traditional companies in Europe have been comparatively slow in embracing the Web as a sales tool.