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Replying to:  Looking for a phone spec DB by quantum-x   Jan 6, 2005, 9:21 AM

Mobile Research

by wirelesstechradio    Jun 3, 2006, 7:47 PM

Mobile Research dares to attack handset pickle


Beware of startup companies whose chief executive sits in a leather chair, says David Adams, founder of Mobile Research.
What: Seattle-based Mobile Research
Who: Founder and Chief Executive David Adams.

Wireless path: Adams, 36, previously worked at Seattle-based Dwango Wireless, which he joined after selling a company he co-founded to Dwango in 2003. That company, Over-The-Air (OTA) Wireless, started in 2001 and was an early seller of ringtones in the United States.

The quandary: After working at OTA and Dwango, Adams got the idea for Mobile Research, which would aim to address the fundamental problem in selling content for mobile applications: each handset is different, from screen size and underlying technology to animation and more. Because of this, game developers, software developers and content providers must make everything they sell fit the different variations.

The typical solution: Adams said developers deal with the problem by creating the content once and then altering it, also called porting, for each phone.

Outsourcing: Mobile Research, which started up in February, provides developers a database of phones and the requirements for each, allowing them to create a more generic piece of content that works across more handsets.

The savings: Adams said the database would save the developer time and money. Otherwise, to get the correct information for devices, a person has to go through the process of sifting information to determine the requirements of each.

So far: Since it started, Mobile Research has spent $35,000 on phones to help compile its database of phone specifications. "It's expensive," he said. "A six-person game shop isn't going to spend $35,000."

The service: The plan is for developers to subscribe to the database on a quarterly basis. The product is expected to be ready for launch by the end of the month.

Startup fuel: Adams is personally funding the company, saving pennies wherever he can. The office space by the Seattle waterfront is a warehouse that doubles as his parking space. The company has three employees.

Startup viewing: Adams has a blog to document the daily happenings of a startup. It's posted at, and you can read about how he switched his service from T-Mobile USA to Cingular Wireless, or how the office bathroom door was purchased by his landlord from the University Inn at auction.

Why the blog? "Everyone I knew was asking me questions about how my startup was going. It's a reason to be introspective every day," he said. "Besides, everyone has a blog — even my mom."

— Tricia Duryee

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