Being Early in Mobile

Some friends reading this blog have asked me why am I posting so much about mobile these days and when did I first get interested in the space. The answer to the first question has to do with my work on 8th Ring. The answer to the second question is “just about a decade ago.”

Huh? What would an online platform guy do with mobile a decade ago? It’s a little known fact that Allaire’s ColdFusion was not only the first web application server but the first mobile-enabled one. In the fall of 1996, JJ Allaire and I coded like crazy one weekend and added WAP and draft HDML (it was called that before it became WML) support to ColdFusion 2.0 Beta Something just in time to demo database-driven mobile applications built in a couple of hours at the Internet World show that year. The apps were delivered through the UnwiredPlanet/ platform on those horribly huge AT&T phones. They were as easy to build as any web app at the time–you generated the markup dynamically, the server handled all state management and all you had to do was tell ColdFusion that the response content type was WAP/HDML. We took care of everything else.

Jeremy Allaire still has the phone on which we did the demos and we did a little photo shoot recently for the sake of posterity.

That’s being early in mobile…

About Simeon Simeonov

I'm an entrepreneur, hacker, angel investor and reformed VC. I am currently Founder & CTO of Swoop, a health AI platform. Through FastIgnite I invest in and work with a few great startups to get more done with less. Learn more, follow @simeons on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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2 Responses to Being Early in Mobile

  1. Vijay says:

    Wow… I remember these gizmos… could be used as weapons as well 🙂

  2. joeduck says:

    Now THAT’s a phone!

    Excellent point that “mobile” is not a new concept, just a lot more buzzy now. I’d suggest that in the same way the internet as commercial/mainstream platform languished for decades, “Mobile” online applications, VOIP, and many other hand-held-and-connected technologies are ready for prime time adoption.

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