Chris Hill-Scott might not be a name you’ve heard of before, and you probably won’t ever hear again. The only thing you need to know about him is that his week was 100% worse than yours since he lost the chance of $250 million because he wanted a bicycle back in 2008.
In case you weren’t following the tech news this week, Microsoft recently bought the AI predictive keyboard system you’ve grown to love (and sometimes hate) Swiftkey, reports Quartz. The going price was a modest £174 million which equates to roughly $250 million – you see where we’re going with this?
Swiftkey was set up back in 2008 by close friends Jon Reynolds, Ben Medlock and Chris Hill-Scott with the dream of using AI to remove human error from typing on phone keyboards, an irreplaceable technology.
However, Hill-Scott was not fond of the long hours and amount of work he was putting in – such is the nature of the start-up. And since there wasn’t much money being made at the time, Hill-Scott outed by selling his third of the shares for a brand new bicycle.
Those shares today would be worth a whopping £25 million pounds in expendable cash. Within eight years the company rocketed to success building infrastructure for both Android and Apple phones.
And what of Hill-Scott? From him we could all learn a lesson about quitting when the going gets tough. Working as a web developer for the British government, he tweeted that getting that bicycle was “the biggest mistake I ever made” before he changed his account to private, ouch.