Has anyone else noticed how parents have a hard time acclimatizing to today’s technology, whereas toddlers seem to be born with the innate ability to navigate a smart device?
For the members of Generation Z, nothing seems to come easier than technology. It used to be that kids did babysitting duties or opened a lemonade stand to earn themselves a couple of extra bucks. Nowadays, they’re going where the market is: applications.
Here are five young app developers who prove that age—not to mention a degree— doesn’t matter in today’s global techie market:
Who hasn’t heard of the seventeen-year-old boy who sold his app to Yahoo to the tune of 30 million dollars? Nick D’Aloisio was only fifteen when he created Trimit, the forerunner of his multimillion-dollar app, Summly.
Then a student at King’s College School in Wimbledon, Nick thought that it would save people time to have news content summarized to contain only the most important details—a concept that appealed to his first backers, including billionaire Li Ka-Shing and celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Ashton Kutcher.
He was able to develop an innovative algorithm that trims news articles to 400 characters, packaged it in an appealing, easy-to-use app, and the rest is history.
TechnoBuffalo reports that Nick studied programming through “C For Dummies” and online videos, learning enough to be able to develop his first app at the age of twelve.
Acknowledged to be the youngest app developer yet, Thomas Suarez was only twelve when his app Bustin Jieber made waves in the Apple App Store. The concept is simple, taking its cues from the arcade game Whac-A-Mole, only substituting the mole with the floating head of pop star Justin Bieber.
Thomas calls this his favorite and most successful app so far, but it isn’t his first. That honor goes to Earth Fortune, a fortuneteller app that he developed in 2010 after downloading Apple’s Software Development Kit.
Even before hitting his teens, Thomas has already released a number of apps, created his own company, started an App Club in school, given a talk on TedX and was honored at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards.
Here’s another kid who went the gaming route. Stephen Huber is the face of Wooden Labyrinth 3D, though it isn’t exactly a solo effort. In FastCompany.com, Stephen shares how he got into the app business at thirteen, when he was approached by Elias Pietilä to review his app on Stephen’s YouTube channel.
Stephen then became involved in the development of Elias’ Wooden Labyrinth 3D app together with Tapani Pihlajamäki, and was particularly instrumental in the marketing of their game. The free version of the app hit the top spot in the App Store’s Free Games category.
Wooden Labyrinth 3D won the Student Apple Design Award in 2009. As of 2010, the total number of downloads surpassed the 7.5-million mark.
Ryan Orbuch and Michael Hansen
The duo of Ryan Orbuch and Michael Hansen, both sixteen years old, earned accolades during the recent Apple Design Awards for their task manager app Finish. The idea for the app came to them during their sophomore year finals.
They wanted to help people counter procrastination by allowing them to concentrate on the most urgent tasks first. With Michael handling the programming and technical aspect and Orbuch taking on the design and marketing, they’ve formed a good partnership, developing their app in little over a year.
On its release day, Finish debuted at number one on productivity charts, and was featured in Apple’s “New and Noteworthy” category. The app saw 16,500 downloads in the span of weeks, and that figure is sure to rise now that it’s garnered even more talk.
Don’t they just make you marvel at the technological savvy, high ambitions and entrepreneurial skills of today’s youth? If you’ve got more success stories to inspire us, share them in the comment box below!