What were you doing with your time when you were 15 years old? Well, unless you were founding your very own startup, get ready to feel bad about yourself. Fast Company recently talked to Tanay Tandon, a kid who last year found the time to write the algorithm for Clipped, an app that ingests news articles and spits out a bulleted summary.
Why did he do it? Because he’s a competitive high school debater, and he is tired of devoting all his time to research:
I’m a Lincoln-Douglas debater, and it involves lots of prep, reading evidence files and cases. It’s a long process for me, and I wanted to find something to condense an article into something more concise and readable.
This reporter, who spent a substantial chunk of her years in high school “cutting cards,” or picking pieces of evidence out of U.S. News and New York Times articles, is in no way surprised that it would be a debater trying to disrupt the mind-numbing process of research. Do you know how many articles Lexis-Nexis turns up when you search for “President Obama”? Call your mom, because you aren’t going to make it home for dinner.
In short, there’s a fair chance that if this kid can actually make this thing work, he’ll be a hero to grateful debaters everywhere.
However, if we might be forgiven a moment of back-in-my-day griping, learning to parse information on the fly is sort of the point of doing high school debate.