Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Open Source BlackBerry

Now, I have been caught on tape beating a BlackBerry once, but we left in good terms. So much that today we have announced we actually love the BlackBerry...

Funambol has released two clients for BlackBerry today:
  1. A push-email client, with integrated address book. Why would you need it?? Well, if you are like most, together with your work like, you also have a personal life. If you don't, then forget it, we do not like you anyway ;-) If you do, you might want to keep your BlackBerry email client for your enterprise life (with its own address book), but now you can get a separate client to check your personal email (e.g. AOL, Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, any POP/IMAP, and so on). The address book is separated, but it is synced on the device. So it is fast
  2. A PIM-sync client, a tool to synchronize on your BlackBerry contacts, calendar, task and notes (also known as PIM), coming from the Funambol server. This is for those who do not like BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) that much, because it does not sync your PIM stuff on the device. It is a full BlackBerry experience, with a consumer angle. And it is open source, extensible, it supports a lot of backends and more.
On my BlackBerry, I have both. I use myFUNAMBOL and I push my Outlook to it (with the Funambol Outlook plug-in). And I get both push email and PIM sync on my phone.

How do you get them? The push-email client signing up on myFUNAMBOL. It is delivered to your phone, no sweat. The PIM-sync connecting your BlackBerry browser to

Here you have a brief video of me using the Funambol BlackBerry client. It is just the first release, but it is quite good, in my opinion. And it is obviously all open source (actually, the PIM sync has been built pretty much by the community, with zero or so help by Funambol employees... I love open source ;-) More to come, stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Google of Mobile

Today I read an interview with Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) on the Frankfurter Allgemeine (do not worry, it is not in German...). CEOs of US companies tend to say more when they speak with foreigner reporters, I am not sure why... Therefore, the interview is very interesting and a recommended read.

One statement from Eric pops up in the interview:
"mobile will be a larger business than the PC-Web"
Now, I am definitely having a hard time disagreeing with him ;-)

However, as Matt wrote, Google is not exactly leading in mobile. Android is a nice thing but it is not even available yet. Apple is way ahead of them, with a proven model (and getting a bit more open every month). Nokia is light years up in front. Even poor Yahoo is leading them...

Beside catching up, I feel there is an intrinsic difference between PC-Web and mobile, that puts Google in a tough spot: the mobile phone is a communication device. It is meant to communicate, not browse. With voice or data.

The leading data application on a mobile phone is and will be the messaging client. SMS, texting, email, IM, social communications. The browser is not going to be even close. And Google built its entire business on browsing.

How do you monetize mobile messaging? With advertising (and on this Google is strong).

However, for Google to dominate in mobile, they have to find a way to dominate in messaging (not in browsing). Gmail is not the way, in my opinion. Check the amount of users on Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail. Numbers are secret but rumors say that the first two run in the hundreds of millions, the last one in the lower tens of millions (only geeks use Gmail... How many of us do you think there are out there? Thank God, not that many ;-)

The Google of Mobile will come from mobile messaging, ad-based. Anyone comes to mind? Just kidding :-))

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Android -v- LiMo -v- Funambol?

A post on the BFF caught my attention this morning. The title: "Android -v- LiMo -v- Funambol". Now, being put against two operating system initiatives is interesting ;-) Then I read the source of it, which is an article on ZDNet by Dana Blankenhorn. The title: "Whose mobile open source community will deliver?". Much better, now we are not fighting anyone, but we are battling to deliver.

Dana's article starts from the consideration that Android is too close to be open... And that LiMo is "a corporate billboard". Then he adds:
This is a mistake, both on the part of the companies involved and on the part of the industry. If mobile Linux is to really take off, then a development community must be activated.

This week Funambol made the first move to do just that with the launch of its Funambol Forge.

The new forge has many of the tools you look for in a good community site. The question is whether it will attract mobile developers generally, or just those who care about Funambol’s own software.

I know that corporate-owned forges are usually devoted to a corporation’s own software, but it may be time for that to change.

If other mobile projects won’t develop high-quality forges with good community tools, why shouldn’t Funambol Forge become the center of the action?
In like the thought. I would love the Forge to aggregate the entire mobile developers community. Our community is not building just an operating system, but a complete mobile platform for developing Mobile 2.0 applications. From getting the application on the device, to delivering the data to it, via a push mechanism, to managing the entire device. Full circle. Mobile operating system independent.

Certainly, if you have a mobile project with an AGPL license, we'll be happy to host you. Google does not... And LiMo does not even allow you to talk to them ;-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mobile operators buying Mobile 2.0 startups

I wrote about the ZYB acquisition by Vodafone last week. The main news for me is that contact sync is hot, and that owning a user address book is one of the most important goal for a service provider (and a content provider...).

There is another angle though, more generic than contact sync:
Vodafone - a mobile operator - has acquired a startup, a Mobile 2.0 startup.
This is big news. If you were to go for the quick bucks (some days I regret deciding to go for the billion dollar company ;-) you had few options. Mostly, Google. But they do few acquisitions a year. Or maybe Nokia. In the old days, Yahoo, but who wants to sell to them today? That was it.

Now, the mobile operators come to play. If you have a cool mobile application/service, mostly Business to Consumer (B2C), you have a chance to be snapped by Vodafone. Or one of the other 70 mobile operators out there. It is a long list with lots of money.

Mobile operators are realizing they will become a data pipe. They can't launch services now. It is too late. To prevent the pipe nightmare, they need to buy services that are up and running, to be able to have a presence around social networking and everything around Mobile 2.0. And they have to do it fast...

Vodafone is the big gorilla. They moved. Everybody noticed. Look out for the next one...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SugarCRM project of the month

What I coincidence. We just announced the Funambol Forge and one of the best Forge out there (SugarForge by SugarCRM) announces one of "our" projects as project of the month.

It is the Funambol-SugarCRM Connector by Phil Shotton. Phil is a great guy and he deserves this recognition. He put together two cool projects (sorry if you feel I am not modest, but SugarCRM is a really cool project :-)) And I feel mobilizing a sales force automation product is quite a need, which is just going to get more important with time.

Let me steal the Q&A from the SugarForge (hoping John won't sue me ;-)
Why are you a leading contributor in the SugarCRM community? What are the benefits that you experience from your involvement?
I started using the original Sync4j connector to fill a business need, and started contributing to its development. Then I was asked if I wanted to take over project lead. I felt it was my opportunity to give something back to the community. Being involved gives me an opportunity to do something of wide value, teaches me about the value (and difficulties) of community-based development and puts me closer to the end user than is normally achievable when writing software.

What inspired you to create this project?
Business need - I didn't want to have to maintain multiple calendars and contact lists, and I didn't want to be tied to Microsoft products so I was looking for an adaptable synchronization solution. I am grateful to the original developers who started the work on the connector which fulfilled most of these needs, and the great thing about open source is that if the solution isn't quite perfect you can go in and fix it. After doing some bug-fixes and improvements I was asked if I could take over the project and I've been working on it ever since. There's still a lot of features I'd like to add!

What business pain points were you solving specifically?
Managing multiple calendar and contact lists across multiple people, working on disparate sites and wanting to share information. I started my own company with some colleagues and we wanted to be able to share information across applications and platforms. We run Linux and Microsoft Windows so the solution had to work for both platforms.

Is there anything that the users should know about those? Something hidden/new in this project? Think of this as an opportunity to describe how it works to a user.
Synchronisation sounds simple but is quite complicated, particularly against a multi-user system like SugarCRM. I'm continually working on improving the synchronisation process, making it faster, more flexible and more error-proof. I'm also trying to minimise the install pain while still supporting more versions of SugarCRM. The hardest problem is testing, as there are a large number of potential use cases and also a number of platforms and versions of both SugarCRM and Funambol. I'd like to build some more automated tests to try and avoid bad releases going onto SugarForge.

What would you say to encourage additional community participation?
The more you contribute, the more you get back. It's a sort of selfish altruism. If you want some capability or feature, you are more likely to get what you want if you play an active part in its development. Even if you're not a programmer you can contribute ideas, suggestions, be willing to test and so on. The more you do the better the software will get, and the more you (and the rest of the community) will benefit.

What do you want to build next for Sugar Suite?
As a full time software consultant I don't get a huge amount of time to spend on Sugar, and there's lots of things I'd like to improve with the connector, such as Task list sync, email sync, more flexibility in selecting and filtering, and so on. I'd also like to work on building a really good duplicate detector for contacts and calendar, with fuzzy match logic and merge, to clean up all those duplicates that slowly accumulate and clutter up the system.
Thanks Phil, keep up with the great work!

The new Funambol Forge

It took us way too long, but finally the Funambol Forge has been launched.
At the new Funambol Forge, developers and other community members can work on mobile projects, share technical tips, and download software and documentation. The new forge houses source and binary code for the open source Funambol Community Edition and many Funambol-based community projects. It incorporates a new Discussion Services area that provides both mailing lists and online forums, as well as a new online support forum for the myFUNAMBOL portal. It is also the access point for all of Funambol's community programs, such as the Code Sniper and Phone Sniper programs.
In a nutshell, it is the site where you find everything Funambol Community, from the core software to all the projects around it (there are a lot, dispersed over many different sites...), plus the mailing lists and the forums. All in one place.

Our Community Manager Stefano Maffulli is the guy that made it happen. Yesterday, he fought the daemons of Internet Explorer in an epic battle, beat them and delivered a first release of the Forge (more will follow, the interface needs work). The Forge was with him. I hope it was the lady displayed in Roberto's post...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mobile contacts sync is hot

Contact synchronization is the backbone of social networking, in my opinion. Your "friends" are in your address book. Syncing them on all your devices is a key element of your social life. I always said that the company that manages to "own" your address book will own the war of social networks.

Among those that tried, definitely there is Plaxo. Thursday, they were acquired by Comcast. Just when they started moving towards mobile (they are using the Funambol client for Windows Mobile).

Friday, ZYB was acquired by Vodafone. They are a pure mobile address book sync, based on SyncML. Cool company. I met the CEO and I am happy to hear he is a rich man now. He deserves it because I have seen plenty of mobile sync companies but ZYB appeared to me as the best one from the get-going. And Vodafone is the biggest name in mobile. An acquisition by them means a lot.

Now, if service providers are out acquiring mobile contact sync companies, what does it mean?

That mobile contact sync is hot ;-)

If you are one of the service providers that is thinking "and now, what can I do?", I have a suggestion for you. Check It works as well as ZYB and Plaxo, when it comes to contact sync (and probably a bit better ;-) You can have it branded and with push email as well. Just give me a call. I have set up a hot line for contact sync yesterday...

Friday, May 16, 2008

When SaaS SuckS

As you might know, I am a big fan of SaaS (software as a service). I believe the entire world will move towards this model, with most of the applications used directly from a hosted site.

The first one to go is usually email. The second is the sales force automation tool. In the case of Funambol, both are outsourced. We use a hosted Zimbra for email and Sugar On Demand for sales force.

The issue with SaaS is that you do not control your data. You give your data to someone else and you pray they do not screw up with that. Companies that become successful have a 99.99999% clean record on this, or they go out of business very fast. Unfortunately for me, I hit one of those.

I use Outlook on my PC and the Zimbra Outlook plugin (definitely not the best piece of software Zimbra did, but that is another story). My PIM data gets pushed to myFUNAMBOL from Outlook and from there to the device I am using at the moment (currently, an iPhone and a Windows Mobile, but I am moving to BlackBerry soon... Stay tuned). Everything works great and I am a happy camper.

I have only one issue. When I am done with reading an email that it does not need to be stored in a particular subfolder, I hit the Delete button. One click, the email disappears and gets stored in my Trash. Once in a while (do not tell me it does not happen to you) I find out that one of the emails I deleted included actually something interesting. Not a problem, because I can search for them.

Unfortunately, our SaaS provider for Zimbra - a company called SonomaIT - believes my data is theirs. That they own my data, just because they host it. Therefore, once in a while they clean up MY trash. With no warning, my trash gets emptied and some important emails disappear. This drives me nuts: it is MY data, not YOURS. DO NOT TOUCH MY DATA!!!!

Now, I know what you are thinking: "if you really care about those emails, why don't you put it in a separate folder?".

Why? It is my data. I can put it anywhere I want... And it takes a millisecond to hit the delete button and a few of those to move an email with the mouse to a TrashThatDoesNotGetDeleted folder. The most precious thing I have is time. My data is my data. My time is my time. Do not mess with it.

That said, although some of the SaaS providers might be clueless, I still believe in this model. Clearly, I would have fired my IT Manager, if the system was in house. Now he has an excuse because the system is not in house. And I have a contract with a third party that I need to sue for Illegal Trash Cleanup. Life is tough...

But SaaS is still the way to go. Maybe not with SonomaIT.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Funambol on my Dash

I wrote before about the integration of myFUNAMBOL and the car navigation Dash Express. Today at Where 2.0, Dash made the official announcement of their Dynamic Search API and announced a few very cool applications from their initial partners list. One is ours, which you can see below.

The full list includes:
  • Hunting for the home of your dreams? Real estate leader and innovator Coldwell Banker® allows consumers to search for homes with the “Coldwell Banker Home Search” button. It allows Dash drivers to access real estate listings and property details from their vehicle and instantly create a route to them.
  • When and where is my meeting? Access calendar events, then dynamically route to meetings with Funambol’s “myFUNAMBOL Calendar” button. It allows Dash users access to their electronic calendars (from virtually any source, e.g. Outlook, Yahoo! and Google) from their Dash Express. Calendar items are updated automatically and users can route directly to any address listed.
  • What’s that tune? Mediaguide enables Dash Drivers to easily find out the names of tunes playing on their radios. By simply taping the “BakTrax Radio” button, Dash users can see a list of the last three songs that just played on their favorite AM or FM stations.
  • Speed trap ahead? Furthering Dash’s belief in the power of a driver network, the “Trapster® Find Traps Now” button not only gives Dash Drivers access to Trapster’s information about live speed traps and red light sensors, but also enables Dash Drivers to contribute speed trap information back to other Trapster users in their area.
  • Is it going to rain? Access live, local weather information with WeatherBug’s “MyWeatherBug” button. It provides Dash Drivers with up-to-the-second information about current and future weather conditions while on the road from the largest, most precise weather network in the world.
If you haven't done it already, you should get one ;-)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Linux flies on Delta

Last time I went skiing in Utah (gosh, it seems like a year, and it was ten days ago...) I was impressed by the video system. It had live Dish TV, exactly as JetBlue (that sports DirecTV). A tons of CDs of quality music (and I could plug in my iPhone headset) and games. In particular, I liked the multi-player game, very cool because you play against the other passengers and you know who owns the highest score (it gives you the seat number).

On my way back, I was a bit less impressed when the thing in front of me rebooted. I noticed only mine rebooted, the others were working. Then one by one, most rebooted. I probably was the only one not swearing, but looking at the boot process: it had a penguin in it.

Cool to see the penguin. Much less cool to see it five times in a 90 minutes flight. I believe I have seen Linux automatically reboot more times on that flight that in my entire life. Who wrote that application??

When Web 2.0 meets Mobile 2.0

Yesterday we have announced a partnership with Laszlo. They are the leader in open source Rich Internet Applications (RIA), that is the fancy little apps that run inside a browser and make it look like a desktop. In a word, the Web 2.0 engine. Their target is consumers, via service providers (sounds familiar ;-)

One of the apps they launched as a vertical is email, with contacts and calendar. This sounds familiar too... If you haven't tried the application, I would definitely recommend you do. They have a free service called goWebtop, which allows you to use their web email client to read your personal email on the web (via IMAP), and they just added a preview of their new calendar interface - which is the most beautiful calendar interface I ever seen (and I am picky, when it come
s to user interfaces...).

They do not do collaboration and they do not offer a mail server, so they do not compete with companies like Zimbra, OpenXchange, Scalix or PostPath. They have "just" a web client. The match with us is easy to see. They bring the Web 2.0 experience to the consumers, we bring the Mobile 2.0 experience to the consumers - powered by advertising. Very very cool.

You'll hear more from this partnership soon...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Funambol plus Asterisk, Blackberry and eGroupware

I found this nice post talking by Tony Maro about a deployment of Funambol for a Blackberry, integrated with Asterisk and eGroupware. Let me repost it here because it is short, but full of very interesting notes.
This is a near perfect solution. I run an Asterisk Vo/IP system for my office, and eGroupware with Cyrus for our mail system. We migrated from Microsoft Exchange some time ago and I've never looked back.

With eGroupware, we were able to replace 99% of the functionality of our Microsoft Exchange server with open source software. With sieve filters users can set up an unlimited number of server-side mail filters, something you can't do with Exchange anymore, and the web interface works much better with Firefox than Microsoft's web access. Our Asterisk phone system integrates into the mix and will deliver voicemail to the user's e-mail box.

Now, with my Blackberry I can download and play those voicemails without ever having to dial into the phone system, because they are wav files attached to e-mail that is picked up by my Blackberry. I'm feeling so "connected" right now it's not even funny :-)

Switching to an all open-source messaging suite like this was easier than I thought, but when we did the primary migration I only had about 10 users to worry about. This made it much easier. I took Outlook (or the appropriate mail client) and downloaded everything to a local storage. After setting up IMAP to the Cyrus server I pushed it all back up - not recommended if you're going to migrate a few hundred users, but effective in my case. I then set up the Funambol open source sync client for each user to sync their contacts and calendar between the server and their local store. This gives them remote access to their data, and I have a copy of that on both the desktop and the server in addition to the server backups in the event of a catastrophic failure.

On my Blackberry I again use the Funambol client to sync contacts and calendar to the server. Within 30 minutes of getting the Blackberry I'd already downloaded the Funambol client over the air and sync'd with my eGroupware server, without ever attaching the Blackberry to a computer.

Configuring Asterisk to deliver voicemails as a wav file to your e-mail box is simple. I now I have a completely integrated messaging system that doesn't tie me to a desktop computer, and every aspect of it is open source software!
I have to say I am impressed... I wish I could set all this up for us internally at Funambol ;-)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sun and Funambol partner on Glassfish

Today Sun has announced a new partnership program around Glassfish, which is their open source Java application server (the only one that Marc Fleury once said "has managed to mount serious competition to JBoss"). Funambol is one of the partners in the program.

I am very pleased about the announcement because Sun came and asked us to join them, which I found flattering (I know, I have a thing for people asking me, when they are a million times bigger than us ;-)

I believe Funambol on Glassfish (and maybe OpenSolaris) could be a killer offering for enterprises. Any enterprise I know needs mobile email for all their employees. It can't be limited to BlackBerries for the CEO and sales people. Mobility is key to increase productivity (and make your employees workaholic ;-)

With Glassfish and Funambol Community Edition (powered underneath by the Sun open source MySQL database), you have a free and open solution that you can plug into your Exchange, Domino or open source email server (much better...). You do not have to pay anything and you have an enormous community to support you.

And if you need support from Funambol, we'll send you to one of our partners. As you know, we are not making money on enterprise deployments. We do not upsell our community. It is free as in free beer, unless you host it for consumers.

Sun is making all the right moves in open source. They have a very smart CEO and Simon Phipps, Chief of Open Source, a phenomenal individual. Add to it Marten Mickos, one of the brightest minds in open source and you might have a multi-billion open source company. I am definitely cheering for them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Italy beats the rest of the world 2-1 (on iPhone)

I received this news today about "Dual Carriers for the iPhone in Italy". In a nutshell, Italy will have two carriers offering the iPhone, both TIM and Vodafone.
In a break from the company’s usual exclusive partner model, both Vodafone and Telecom Italia will be offering Apple’s iPhone in Italy.

Apple gave no details as to why it broke from its single carrier per market model; Telecom Italia announced it “has signed a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to Italy later this year,” and Vodafone announced it would offer the popular handset in 10 countries, including Italy. In a statement, Vodafone said: “Later this year, Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network.”
That's pretty odd, but it will mean more iPhones in Italy. I am ready to bet it is going to be a great success (despite not being a big hit on other countries in Europe).

It is all about fashion. And the iPhone is fashionable. Works in Italy.

Monday, May 05, 2008

JavaOne tomorrow: talk not to be missed

Tomorrow, our JavaME Tech Lead Edo Schepis will give a talk at JavaOne, which I believe it is going to be very interesting.

The title is "Funambol Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME Platform) Technology-Based Open-Source Messaging Client: Lessons Learned". It is part of the Technical Session and it is scheduled for Tuesday May 06 10:50 - 11:50 at Moscone Center - Esplanade 303 (Session ID TS-4992 for those picky).

The abstract is:
Three billion people own a mobile phone, yet only a small fraction use it for mobile email--why?

Until recently mobile email required high-end devices, costly service, and complex setup. But that is changing. Global mobile email usage is expected to grow 24 percent annually over the next four years, with explosive growth projected post-2008 due to rapid consumer email adoption. An open-source, standards-based, consumer push email solution is not just a benefit to developers. It also provides mobile operators, service providers, and online portals with broad device compatibility, low cost, ease of use, and the flexibility required to tap into the mass market.

This session guides attendees through the main lessons learned in developing the open-source Java™ Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME platform) technology-based messaging client based on Funambol synchronization software.

The session presents the following:
• Design and code samples of the Funambol Java ME technology-based SDK for synchronization
• Push technologies used for messaging and PIM notifications through SMS and TCP/IP channels
• Main issues discovered in Java ME technology-based implementations and workarounds to fix them
• Design and code samples of the Funambol Java ME technology-based messaging client
• How open source is contributing during the development and testing phases, solving the device fragmentation nightmare common in development on the Java ME platform
• How to handle carriers’/manufacturers’ security restrictions, using trusted applications such as the Java Verified Program and the certification process

The presentation places particular emphasis on the design choices used to blend object-oriented principles and developer community needs with the best user experience and performance.

At the end of the session, through code samples and lesson learned, the attendees will have a good understanding of
• How to build synchronization clients for Java ME technology-based devices, starting from the Funambol Java ME technology-based SDK
• What developers should know about building Java ME technology-based open-source messaging applications for the mass market
See you there!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Vodafone gives you free data with voice

A friend forwarded me an article about Vodafone UK bundling mobile data with their monthly data plan. In a nutshell, if you have a monthly plan (£7.50) you also get 500MB of free data.
That limit is "fair use" too, rather than capped - exceed it a few times and you'll get a warning, take the piss and they'll ask you to move onto a more expensive tariff.
This is huge news. 500 MB is a monthly limit that includes everything you do on a mobile phone, probably excluding videos. My average usage of the iPhone is about 200MB/month. But I do not do any YouTube videos over EDGE (it is so slow to be useless). I do lots of email, attachments, browsing, weather and maps. 500 MB is more than enough for me.

Free mobile data is the tipping point for Mobile 2.0. Once we get that, the ball will start rolling and it will be unstoppable. It is big news for any startup out there thinking about a mobile application around the carrier. Kudos to Vodafone to admit being a pipe is not that bad.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mobile fund raising in the Valley

I can't consider myself an expert on fund raising, but I spent enough time driving up and down Sand Hill in all these years to have picked up a few signs. Last week, at the Sofcon conference, someone asked me to give suggestions to entrepreneurs, trying to raise money in the Valley with a mobile idea. I gave the following answers, thinking out loud as usual. Many people contacted me after the speech and asked me to put the ideas together in a post. Here it is.
  1. NO CARRIERS. Forget the mobile operators. VCs have put enough money in companies that tried to sell to carriers and failed. They won't do it again. Your business model must go around the carrier. Be off-deck. Base it on the assumption that the carriers will become a dumb pipe. It is happening for real. This is the best time in the history of mobile to start a company doing mobile applications because the gateway is about to disappear. Build with the assumption that users will have a data plan and an IP on the phone. Sell to consumers, ISPs or Portals (and even Enterprises). Not carriers. VCs will listen.
  2. GO IPHONE. I know Nokia has 40% of the mobile market, but there is no Nokia phone around here. Zip. If you have a mobile idea, show it on an iPhone. I know Nokia produces all the iPhones in the world today in four days. Still, we have none here. The iPhone is the cool device. VCs are starting to carry it around with their BlackBerry. If they don't, their wives and kids have an iPhone. Don't blame the VC. Investing early in a company is an emotional affair. It has very little to do with reality. You can't get emotional on something, if you can't try it or can't have anyone around you trying it. If you have to go super-consumer, go with a Motorola RAZR V3xx. But do not expect wows.
  3. GO NOW. This is the right time. Do not wait a few months because money is getting tight. Mobile is super-hot. Cash is still out there. The financial crisis is going to dry out VC interest in early deals pretty fast. You have a good window before summer, with the launch of the iPhone competitors (pre-June) and the new iPhone (June). Buzz will be there. Your business plan might be slightly better in September but it might be too late. Do not wait...