A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: Thumbspeed.
What: Thumbspeed, based in Bellevue.
What it does: Develops and publishes messaging applications for mobile devices.
Vision: Believes messaging and communications should be a central to all mobile applications.
Secret sauce: A cross-platform development environment for creating applications that work on a range of devices from Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and BlackBerry, as well as Windows Mobile and Palm mobile phones and devices.
Genesis: Anup Kejriwal and Hank Skorny met at America Online, where they helped build AOL’s instant-messaging systems. They saw an opportunity to build applications on top of the messaging framework. Kejriwal started Thumbspeed in August 2004 and Skorny joined as CEO in May.
Milestones: In June, the company began working on a Cingular Wireless deployment that went live Oct. 10.
Executive bios: Skorny was a vice president at InfoSpace Mobile. Earlier he was general manager of AOL Mobile and also directed teams at Adobe, Microsoft and Apple Computer. Kejriwal built mobile-messaging businesses at AOL Mobile and managed the technology platform at Time Warner. Before that he managed teams at Go2Net/InfoSpace, American Mobile and Rockwell International.
Major customers: Cingular and AOL.
Sales and growth: Expects sales of more than $1 million in a little more than a year.
The name? In testing with actual users, it became evident that one of the key elements was thumb speed. Most mobile users use their thumbs to navigate the number pad or Qwerty keyboard.
Products: Messaging and personalization software. Entertainment products include Jumble, Los Angeles Times Crossword and horoscope. Productivity applications include Secure Wallet and RSS/Atom reader/browser.
— Brier Dudley