Thursday, June 07, 2007


Europe was a blast. It was a really busy trip and I had a bad time with jet lag. The purpose of the trip was all business development (carriers, offdeck, community sites). We arrived in London, which was 40 degrees and raining the day we arrived. Glad it was almost summer, I can't imagine what winter is like. ;-)

Our meetings went well and I only have a couple of observations about London. First, the US dollar is in a really sad shape. The last time I had been to London was 3 1/2 years ago and I was blown away by how expensive everything was. I guess those deficits in the US aren't helping.

Second, WIFI is a joke. By that I mean that it was either a. obscenely expensive, or b. it was metered by the minute. Yes by the minute. I guess in some ways that makes sense but for something that probably doesn't have any variable cost it seemed like a big joke.

Third, I love Carphone Warehouse. What a great concept/store. Their selection was amazing and their ubiquity was impressive. I am excited to see what they do with Best Buy over here in the US.

Fourth, transportation in and around London is a pain. Granted transportation is amazing, but to get from one meeting to the next seemed to consume around twice the time that you spend in NYC doing similar things. It could be how we planned things out.

One really funny story. Right after we get to London, we showered, changed and headed to the Express. As the train pulled up, the car that stopped in front of us had a familiar face. It was Tasso Roumeliotis from Wavemarket. Now the odds that a couple guys from the west coast, who happen to work in mobile, happened to be in London at the same time, and just so happened to be on the same train, which just happened to deposit us right in front of each other was beyond comprehension. In any case it afforded us some time to catch up, compare notes and chat. They have been doing some good things with their Kid Finder application and it was good to hear that they are doing well.

In addition to the strictly business aspects of the trip I got to spend a little time with Russell Buckley from Admob who is one of the bloggers at Mob Happy.

London was a bookend on both sides of the trip and in the middle we took some of the exploding Southwest style budget airlines in Europe to Germany for meetings in Dusseldorf and Bonn. I had been to Germany back in 1997 in Munich and really liked it at the time. This time I truly fell in love with Germany. The weather was beautiful and the scenery in the Rhineland reminded me of the Pacific Northwest in summer, or something like North Carolina. Everything was very organized and clean and people spoke a lot more English than I recall.

When I returned home I had some observations about differences in the US and European market in terms of wireless coverage and services but I think I am going to hold off on that editorial until after my next trip when I have more data.

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