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Q: Why did dodgeball sell to Google?
A: As a two-person team, Alex and I have taken dodgeball about a far as we can alone. Since we finished grad school, we've been trying to figure out how to grow dodgeball and make it a better service along the way. We talked to a lot of different angel investors and venture capitalists, but no one really "got" what we were doing - that is until we met Google.
The people at Google think like us. They looked at us in a "You're two guys doing some pretty cool stuff, why not let us help you out and let's see what you can do with it" type of way. We liked that. Plus, Alex and I are both Google superfans and the people we've met so far are smart, cool and excited about what they're working on.
Microsoft doesn't want to just want to build Web browsers, Word processors, operating systems, etc. It wants to create the software that enables you to realize your full potential, or so the company line goes.
Similarly, Google wants to enable they way you get information. This extends beyond simply when you are sitting at the computer surfing the Web.
Since these two areas overlap, we have the struggle for supremecy between Microsoft and Google [fortune.com] that is only really getting started but will be fascinating to watch.
So, Google maps is for relatively long-lived information, whereas Dodgeball is for very short-lived information.
It must need a really different way of thinking.
Think of that scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise's character is addressed by name by the billboard. Location-based advertising is just another logical step towards this.
Remember that scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise was automatically recognized by the billboard advertisments and served personalized advertising? That future is going to become a reality much faster than anyone of us will believe.
Everyone grab their copy of Tofflers Future Shock [amazon.com] and reread it again.
"Owning people" is perhaps another way of saying "dependency" or "depend upon"?
Any business that is not a de facto monopoly always has to fear the free will of the customer... ehem, I mean the choice competition is supposed to create.
If you're in a location and you key happy hour into your phone it will tell you where exactly the nearest bars which have happy hours going on.
Extend your crawling technology to personal area broadcasting technology which is bluetooth based.. lots of cool stuff if you can use java enabled phones as crawlers. Seen some cool AGPS tech in some of the newer 3G phones..
Coloring (morphing / changing) of information by operators is a HUGE issue when dealing... phone operators are a lot sneakier than google and their web accelerator.
No offense to Google or Dodgeball or anything, but the whole thing seems kinda silly. Are people actually doing this? Who walks around town typing text messages of where they are?
joined:Dec 29, 2003
For sure, "Backend Products" are vital for Google business to expand and nourish. However, its the "Google search engine" that the future of Google business depends upon, IMHO. The folks at Google are required to take a critical honest look at the level of quality of their own serps and take actions to improve them.
Also our friend at Google need to reconsider their own level of moral responsibility and ethical conduct whenever launching new applications in future.
This is just the sort of service that I would signup for. Man, I want to know which shops / bars / whatever is having a sale in my area, and then I just want my phone to download a map and send it to my cars gps so I can go there.
Even the dodgeball service doesn't use GPS data to tell where you are, you have to manually tell it.
The thing that is weird is every handset sold in the last few years has been GPS-enabled, it was a requirement for that 911 location service thing mandated by the telecommunications act of whenever.
I'm not sure what country you're talking about, but it's not the United States. There is no such law or requirement that cellular phones are GPS-enabled here.
joined:Dec 29, 2003
for now it's only 911 (I can enable /disable, but the cops can probably find out anyway, 911 or not. Videos in our living rooms are next, for our protection of course. You know...just in case someone breaks in the cops can help us.
"I'm not sure what country you're talking about, but it's not the United States. There is no such law or requirement that cellular phones are GPS-enabled here."
The thing is though, it can take anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes for a GPS device to be able to connect to all of the satellites required to determine an accurate position. How long does it take for a phone to do it? Would that even be feasible in a 911 call? If you were only on the phone for 30 seconds or a minute its possible they wouldn't be able to pinpoint you.
So is there any way a third party application can access that data? I could have some fun with this :)