Back in 2002 I cofounded a company called Sputnik, and the idea was to enable people to easilt share their WiFi access with each other and with strangers who wanted to "sip" off of their bandwidth, and in return, they would share their bandwidth as well. Back in 2002, though, that was not a very popular vision - folks were going out of business and selling their assets to Starbucks and T-Mobile.
We ended up pivoting the business to focus more on managed wifi for businesses and event locales, and Sputnik has been doing great. But I always held a special place in my heart for the original business model.
So it was with great pleasure that I met Martin Varsavsky a few months back at Les Blogs in Paris. Martin is an amazing guy, successful entrepreneur, philanthopist, and a force of nature. I'm rooting for the Fon guys.
I'm reminded of all of this because I'm sitting here doing my work in a Starbucks today, with WiFi provided by T-Mobile. Here's a picture of my little "mobile office":
By the way, that little cup is actually an espresso cup - I got addicted to espresso when I went to visit Rome for the first time a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, there just isn't anything like Italian espresso here in the states, but I'm getting by with the very bitter Starbucks espresso, which is a far approximation from the rich, smooth, full-flavored espresso I had in Italy...