Internet entrepreneur sells app firm for $30M – just three months after he founded it. Success in the internet can be yours, but you have to grab it.
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It's a story straight from the DOT Com Boom Time except that it REALLY happened and it can happen to you.
In January Adam Cahan came up with a social networking tool to let people tell their friends which TV shows they are watching.
Just three months later he has sold his start-up company to Yahoo! for between $20million and $30million.
The extraordinary deal means that for every day Mr Cahan worked on IntoNow, he earned around $30,000.
He said ’12 weeks might be a record of sorts’, from start-up to exit.
Mr Cahan has now been made a new vice-president at Yahoo! following the sale.
IntoNow is so far only available on the iPhone but he plans to roll it out on other mobile phones soon.
He is the latest in a long-line of internet entrepreneurs who have taken advantage of the iPhone’s popularity in what has been called a ‘modern day gold rush.’
Apps are relatively cheap to develop and with the number of iPhone users growing all the time, the market is huge.
Since its creation in 2008, more than ten billion apps have been downloaded from the Apple store, and now developers are moving on to other platforms like Google’s Android.
IntoNow works in a similar way to music identifying service Shazam, only with television.
Lucrative invention: IntoNow monitors the audio waves from a user’s TV set to work out which shows they are watching so they can share it with their friends.
It scans the audio waves from your TV set and identifies which show you are watching, so users can then tell their friends on Twitter and Facebook.
IntoNow can identify the show, episode and time of airing for shows from the last five years.
It also produces suggestions for what to watch, based on the user’s interests and which shows their friends have seen.
Yahoo! believes the simple tool will be hugely popular in the future and has made Mr Cahan a millionaire to prove it.
IntoNow is the latest in a series of ‘checking in’ programmes started by Foursquare in which users tell other people where they are.
But to pay such a price for a company only 90 days old harks back to the days of the 1990s dot-com boom when weeks-old start-ups changed hands for millions of dollars.
When the boom turned to bust many investors became shy of splashing out but not, Yahoo! which has a questionable history when it comes to acquisitions.
Other ‘TV check-in’ programmes have been launched already too. The most popular is GetGlue, which lets you check in to TV shows, films and music.
A graduate of Columbia and Brown University, Mr Cahan is a former Google and MTV executive who says on his Linkedin page that he ‘likes to build things that make users happy.’
In a statement announcing the sale on the firm’s blog, he wrote: ‘ We were all surprised to say the least but it makes a ton of sense and we’re ready to rock.
‘Yahoo! has shown us that they are excited about what we’re doing and committed to continue innovating for our community.’
His achievement echoes that of 21-year-old Internet entrepreneur Alex Tew, from Wiltshire in England, who sold off each pixel of a single web page in adverts and became a millionaire in six months. And he joins a list of other ‘app millionaires’, many of whom have made hundreds of thousands of dollars from their inventions in just a few weeks. Yes … success in the internet can be yours … but YOU have to do something about it. Look at this website I built from scratch with absolutely no knowledge when I commenced but had to learn as I went along.
You can be taught to do this in your spare time via the internet and the crazy thing is, it is free of any charge to join.
Yahoo! said in a statement: ‘Relying on social channels as a means for discovering content – whether it’s on a PC, mobile device or TV – is rapidly on the rise.’