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Summly’s founder on competition (2012)

17-year old Nick D’Aloisio’s news reading app Summly was acquired by Yahoo last month for $30 million. Matthew Bishop interviewed D’Aloisio at DLDMunich in January of 2012, a little over a year before the acquisition. When asked, “Why can’t Google, with their vast team of engineers, simply knock off what you’ve done and drive you out of business?” He replied:

There aren’t really any real competitors in the summarization space yet. They all keep getting bought out. I’m not worried about Google doing it themselves. For the money they could spend to buy us and implement us, it would be much more worthwhile than hiring 50 PhD guys. We’re already in the front so they would have to play catch up. So, what’s to say we don’t sell to their competitor and suddenly it gets implemented overnight into all these devices, Google’s lost out. I think they realize that if they want to get into the space, they may as well look for other services; either us or one they feel is most appropriate for their business needs.

Later, he added:

The bigger the corporation the less the innovation. It’s really true.

Despite the contradictions in his statements throughout the interview, it seems like D’Aloisio was hoping for a bidding war between Yahoo and Google for his company from the beginning.