I am frequently asked, "Why would you start a high-tech, software development company in the worse recession since the Great Depression... and why of all places in Sarasota FL?"
Well, let's start with the Sarasota question first. Only the people who don't live in Sarasota, haven't visited Sarasota or are confused by Saratoga, CA seem to ask that question. Have you seen this place?
White sand beaches, beautiful warm water, gentle breezes? Are you kidding? Combine that with fifteen-minute commute times, great restaurants, and an international airport that gets you to the gate in thirty minutes, what's not to love? Check out Sarasota Tourism. And, by the way, it is 74 degrees on this February winter's day.
Now, Sarasota is not without its problems, but keep staring at the picture.... you are getting warmer... you are getting warmer...
So, Why Now?
No one ever said there was a bad time for a good idea. Having spent over 30 years in technology, I have learned to look for inflection points, or game changing events. In 1977 I stumbled into the Good Earth restaurant to have lunch with a young kid (we didn't use entrepreneur in those days) named Steve Jobs. Steve was on fire as he began ranting about personal computers and how they would change the world... how they would change the way people work and play and educate their children. Huh? Guess what? Whole new mega-companies came into existence.
In 1981, Steve came roaring into Apple talking about bit-mapped displays, icons, WISIWIG and mice. Most business people refused to use keyboards, and we are going to give them mice?? Whole new products and companies were created that took advan
tage of these amazing new technologies. Adobe, Aldus, Microsoft, and my little company that brought you FileMaker and PowerPoint. Another tipping point!
Today we are at another main technological inflection point. In the last three years millions have purchased deep, rich, highly-mobile portable computers that slip easily into a pocket. And not even know it. Yep... I am talking about the next generation of smartphones or what some call them App Phones.
But are they really phones? I think they are really portable computers that run phone applications in the same way that the Apple II ran a spreadsheet or a word processor. Oh, BTW, where are all those dedicated word processors from Wang, IBM and NBI these days? Am I dating myself?
iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry Curve, Google Nexus. Is this the future of highly-personal computing? Now the iPad... Another member of this new family of exciting new devices. Voalté would much rather be early in an emerging market than late in an existing market.
The speed of adoption of these new devices is phenomenal. Compared to the adoption of personal computers, CD's, DVD's, and HD TV, these highly mobile computing platforms are enjoying one of the fastest deployments of technology in history.
So, why now? Because it is the right time.