Founder of $250 million SwiftKey traded his startup shares for a bicycle

Founder of $250 million SwiftKey traded his startup shares for a bicycle
When Microsoft announced that it is acquiring a few square inches of virtual keyboard for the princely sum of $250 million, a lot of eyebrows were raised, until people remembered that the creators of SwiftKey bag one-of-a-kind predictive AI algorithm, and that might be exactly what Microsoft was gunning for with the acquisition.

One of those creators, Chris Hill-Scott, came on board in 2008, and together with Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock, both millionaires now, started imagining those same predictive behavioral algorithms SwiftKey became famous for. Two months later, though, a startup was still a startup, and Chris realized he is putting in endless hours of work with little to no pay, and no guarantee for success in sight. 

He decided to call it quits, and traded his founding shares in the company for what obviously amounted to a good deal at the time - a bicycle. The founders, who were also his friends from school, parted with him on good terms, and the rest is history. If there is some moral to the story, it's that biking around is healthier than sitting down and coding all day, no doubt.

source: via IBT



1. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Walter While phenomenon.

2. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015


3. jsobotka

Posts: 54; Member since: Aug 21, 2009

It's all good... I hear Chris Hill-Scott is now making good money cooking up addictive smartphone games, like Crystal Castle.

4. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

its like the story of that gold digger who quits just 1 meter before.... difference is that here 1 meter=7 years :p

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and the difference between a bicycle vs some million dollars

6. ecologer

Posts: 32; Member since: Jul 25, 2014

Yeah, this case is a good example of that story in real life. But 7 years is a long time - you have to be really dedicated, deeply convinced, passionate and with enough financial backing to be able to endure those years before the success finally comes. Apparetly Chris had hoped his efforts would start to materialize sooner and we can't blame him for that.

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