It is the story that became irresistible to investors, journalists and, ultimately, Yahoo: the wunderkind with the killer app who became an “overnight” millionaire. In London, where 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio lives, works and goes to school, his rise has also been seen as a sign that the city can rival Silicon Valley as a centre for tech and innovation.
Of course, the tale of the teenager and Summly, his iPhone newsreader for which Yahoo paid almost $30m this week, is more complicated than that. It illustrates that a catchy idea and a strong, global network are just as important as the underlying technology – if not more so. And it shows that while London is right to be excited about Silicon Roundabout, it remains the precocious adolescent to the Valley’s sophisticated adult.