There's an article in the NYT today about Andy Rubin, who's playing a key role in Google's gPhone project (which we're supposed to hear more about tomorrow. I of course have to take this chance *again* to mention that I had a lunch at "The Deck" with Andy a few years ago when he was an EIR with Redpoint - Rob Currie (who was at Redpoint after wrapping up at Strangeberry/TiVo) invited me out to give an informal pitch on what was to become Mowser. Needless to say, I didn't do well. I don't think I was exactly sure who Andy even was before the lunch... which is probably the biggest mistake you can make in those sorts of meetings. Also, if someone asks you how many people/how much money you'll need, never, ever answer "Uhhh... I dunno."
It was a very educational lunch for me, which is why I keep repeating it, and really the start of the long slow process of me actually launching Mowser.
Anyways, I was reading the article and a couple things jumped out at me. First, see that chart above? Why in the hell does IDC think there will only be 18MM Linux smart phones out there by 2011? Are they nuts? I bet there's more than that out there now. Mobile stats are so wonky... I never know what to believe.
Besides that chart, this anecdote struck me as particularly fun:
Mr. Rubin spent all his savings on that project. He called his friend [Steve] Perlman and told him he was broke.
"How soon do you need the money?" Mr. Perlman asked.
"Now!" was the answer.
Mr. Perlman went to the bank and withdrew $10,000 in $100 bills, brought them to Mr. Rubin's office and set them in a stack on Mr. Rubin's desk. Ultimately, he lent him a total of $100,000, which helped Android complete its business plan.
Holy crap, where do I find pals like these? I've got to get out of the house more.
BTW, I guess the press from NYT was enough to get those guys to redirect Android.com to Google. I checked it just last night when I first started seeing news trickle in about Monday's gPhone stuff and it was still displaying Andy's personal home page. Robots.net still seems to be his though - that was the address on the business card I got years ago. Both are great domains... Google keeps getting some good ones (I'd kill bags of kittens for hello.com, seriously).