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I never figured out what Idealab!’s investment in eVoice was, but it can’t be too significant. Idealab! never even mentions them.

Anyway, the Airwave guys pitched me their plan when they were first starting last summer. I wasn’t under anybody’s NDA so I can tell you all about ’em.

Airwave is basing their business plan upon the growth of 802.11/DSSS wireless LANs. These are devices like Apple’s Airport or Lucent’s ORINOCO or Cisco’s WaveLAN. Airwave wants to eventually build a seamless network covering every city in North America using these devices and to act as a service provider.

No shit. One problem: the range of most DSSS transceivers (the hub that sits in the middle of the network) is a 200-300 foot radius. Hmm…

So they start with a simple plan of trying to attract Starbucks and other public spaces (like hotels) by convincing them to buy these transceivers and wire their premises. Then, with Airwave acting as the service provider, the hotel/restaurant shares in revenues from customers that “roam” onto their network.

Ultimately they want households and consumers to become service providers on this network, too.

Sounds great. But why should I share any revenue with Airwave after I deploy and support all of the hardware? I just spent $5000.00 to add all the hardware to my franchise and you’re telling me you’ll be giving me pennies per month per user? Why should I?

Even I had a better business plan than that when I used to share ISDN with my neighbours and charge them ISP fees.

Anyway, they were morons. But I’m glad I met ’em because they convinced me to put a wireless LAN in my home.


—— Idealab! Won’t Launch More in Palo Alto, May Cut Staff   PASADENA, Calif. (VENTUREWIRE) — Idealab!, an Internet company incubator, said it will not develop any new companies in its Palo Alto, Calif., office and will consolidate most of its activities to its Pasadena, Calif., headquarters. The firm said it will keep its Palo Alto office open to support the three companies that currently operate out of that office: Airwave, eLease, and Mybiz. In a prepared statement, idealab! said it will scale back its personnel over the next few months, and where possible, will attempt to transfer members of the 33-person Palo Alto staff to positions at one of the firm’s operating companies. The company would not comment on whether or not the Palo Alto office would eventually shut down.

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