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Published on January 18th, 2013 | by Gizmodo

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The Amazing Story of How a Savvy Entrepreneur Sold Two Companies You’ve …

In December of 2009 Apple bought a small startup led by Bill Nguyen named Lala. The company was named after the first words of Nguyen’s adopted son. It was also a word play on the solfège note “La”.

The Amazing Story of How a Savvy Entrepreneur Sold Two Companies You've Probably Never Heard of to AppleIn December of 2009 Apple bought a small startup led by Bill Nguyen named Lala. The company was named after the first words of Nguyen’s adopted son. It was also a word play on the solfège note “La”. Lala struggled through pivot after pivot in the music industry, buying digital radio stations, a CD swapping business and finally streaming music.

The ultimate irony in this story is that quite a few notable members of the Lala-to-Apple team followed Bill through the door and onward to his next venture. They left millions in options at a the $196.48 exercise price they had from the 2009 sale/retention bonuses. Some of those same engineers returned to Apple in the highly covered rumor that 20+ engineers went to Apple for $7M.

Image credit: Shutterstock/Malyugin

Aubrey Johnson is a designer in residence at Science. He led design for Color and Twilio. You can follow him on Twitter here. This post originally appeared on his personal blog.

This Article was originally posted in Gizmodo

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