A multimillionaire with a job at Yahoo!, all at 17 years old…

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When I was 15, I was still adjusting to my new life in high school in New Jersey, but when Nick D’Aloisio was 15, he created Summly.

Summly is a news-reading app that summarizes news stories. It’s kind of cool, because no matter how simple or complex a story is, it is condensed to a mere 400 characters, which makes it easier to read on smartphones. Last week, Yahoo! bought Summly from D’Aloisio for a reported $30 million and offered him a job at Yahoo!’s London office.

So once again, the world is being introduced to a kid genius or prodigy, who has developed something that seems so simple and turned it into a multimillion dollar company. He has had a lot of support for his app too. He is the youngest person to receive venture capital money for work.

The idea started with Trimit, after some criticism, he corrected it and redesigned it as Summly with the help of venture capital funding of $300,000. His idea of developing the app was for people in line for coffee to read or for the people who wanted to kill time in between games.

There’s nothing much I can say to this but that he’s in a way an “inspiration” for children/young adults everywhere, who has an idea. He shows that anything is possible when you have a great idea and can find someone to fund the project.

I think more importantly he gives hope for entrepreneurs everywhere. If a 15 year old can convince a venture capital to fund his idea, why can’t I? Or the next guy?

The Paywall Effect In Britain?

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THE CATS OUT THE BAG!!

Newspapers in the U.S. have been slowly transitioning into the paywall phase.

What’s a paywall you may ask?

A paywall is a system that prevents Internet users from accessing webpage content without a paid subscription. It is slowly becoming a popular tool for papers in the U.S. and Canada but is now branching out to Britain.

The Daily Telegraph is the first British general interest newspaper to employ the paywall model. Similar to The New York Times, readers will be allowed to read 20 articles a month on the website for free. Once the reader passes the limit, the paywall will enact and block the reader from reading anymore articles for the rest of the month. If the reader choices to subscribe on his/her own, that reader will have two digital subscription packages to choose from. But unlike The Times, The Telegraph will offer a one month free trial before asking potential subscribers to commit to a subscription.

Hope The Telegraph’s paywall is as a success as others.

Finally A Big Established Company Sees How Pointless Social Media Advertising Is

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It’s about time that an already fully established company like Coca-Cola sees that spending millions and maybe billions of dollars a year on social media advertising is a waste of time and money. A company spokesperson said that social media buzz DOES NOT equal short-term revenue gains for Coke.

Now let’s be serious for a second and think…why on earth would a company like Coca-Cola feel the need to advertise on social media platforms anyway?

The company is already established and well known all over the country and even world. Coke is sold in restaurants, stores and vending machines in EVERY country EXCEPT Cuba and North Korea – no surprise there, especially since Coke is an American Corporation.

Its products are virtually recognizable by almost anybody in this country and maybe even the world. Everyone already knows coke, who can miss that signature color?

I think that Coke can stop pushing its presence on social media, mainly because it is pushing one product that everyone knows about. It’s not as if the corporation is advertising for new flavors, it’s always the same classic one. I think that people have their automatic preference, especially when it comes between the back and forth rival of Coke and Pepsi. Everyone has their pick.

In my opinion, a big and already established company should only feel the need to do hard core advertising when they are coming out with a new product or have a deal or something. Take McDonald’s for example. MickeyD’s is as established as Coke, but I always know when McDonald’s is going to have a “2 for $3” breakfast special or a new addition to the menu. I barely see an ad for just a plain old “Big Mac,” now a days. But I always see the company’s NEW products it promotes, which makes sense. Why send a million dollars to promote an old burger that many may be tired of eating, when you can send a million to promote a new burger that no one has ever tired.

I hope that Coke will take the time out to reevaluate the meaning of advertising! The company should stick to giving away free sodas at events it sponsors. By doing that, it has a better chance of getting more buyers for its products.

Why? Take me as an example. I have a better chance of trying something, whether it is brand new or not, for free at an event than me buying it at a store. If I like something that I tired at an event, then maybe the next time I go grocery shopping you’ll  find it in my cart.

Another Newspaper Bought By Another Rich Guy

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In this day and age, it is no surprise that another rich guy is buying out a family-owned community paper.

It was announced a few days ago that John Georges will be acquiring The Advocate, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana based newspaper.

Now this can go two ways and can either be a good thing or a bad thing. From what I’ve read, the newspaper has been doing quite well over the years and is the leading daily newspaper of the south-east Louisiana area, which also includes the greater New Orleans area.

Keeping in mind that the buyer already owns food services and a restaurant in New Orleans, makes me wonder, why on earth is he buying out a newspaper? I understand that it is doing surprisingly well when compared to other dailies in other cities, that have either died out or turned into weeklies.

But The Advocate is very established! It has the Monday-Friday Advocate; the weekend editions, Saturday and Sunday Advocate; a New Orleans edition; and a Monday-Saturday edition for the Lafayette and Acadiana areas. I like to call this a newspaper whose audience has not drifted away into the hype of the new internet phase.

So back to my original question…

Why buy a newspaper, when it seems obvious that you have no experience in running a paper? I personally think that he is buying it because of its popularity and the return investment will be golden for him.

However, I do kind of feel sorry for the paper in general. As I said before, it can go down two ways.

Way one: He can buy the paper and turn it into a public relations haven, like others have done. It could turn into a paper that is filled with more advertisements than stories. It can become a paper filled with feature stories rather than hard news stories or stories affecting the area. For all I know, he can turn the paper into a magazine.

Way two: He can turn the paper around for the better. He can do a 360 and be an owner who actually cares about the paper and not primary about the money. He could potentially expand the paper to other areas, which will increase the need of journalists in terms of jobs. He could even go as far as expanding the paper to the point where The Advocate might look for other mediums to acquire like a radio station. Who knows?

All we can do is hope that it is for the better and never for the worse.