Kayak, Paul English, Africa, Free Wireless Internet
OnStartups.com: Startup Insights From Paul English, Co-Founder of Kayak (Via Paul Orlando, @porlando) the most popular travel search site on the web (and one of the top 1,000 most popular sites on the web)..... In Dec 2007, with just 39 employees, Kayak raised $230 million (at a much higher than that valuation) to acquire their largest competitor, SideStep. Paul is on my list of “best entrepreneurs I’ve met”. ...... my next 10 year project. I'll be at Kayak, of course, pushing it, pushing it, but I'm starting a new project that has an audacious goal of creating free low-bandwidth Internet for the whole continent of Africa.
Fast Company: Kayak.com Cofounder Paul English Plans to Blanket Africa in Free Wireless Internet (Via Adam Carson, @adamkcarson) a "big, big project," one that will consume the next decade of his life ..... 8.7% Internet penetration right now ..... belief that providing basic Internet is as essential to society as clean water and clean power. ..... he nonprofit/for-profit hybrid this summer and begin creating partnerships between JoinAfrica and local African for-profit telcos. ...... he's already bought satellite dishes and other gear and helped hook up villages in a number of African countries over the past decade, from Burundi to Uganda and Malawi to Zambia. "Having email and Skype has been transformative for the handful of villages I've worked in," he says. ....... "The continent of Africa has been so fucked over from an economic standpoint -- as an engineer, how do I use my skills to do something that's transformative?" ...... assure the system is "incredibly measurable and incredibly managed." ..... the project might cost billions ..... "The way Kayak is involved is that it's helping make me very wealthy, and I plan to deploy that wealth" ...... massive scale and hybrid business model
This speaks to me. This hits me like when I first read about the Chrome OS. (Chrome Operating System) I have been talking about "an operating system that supports a browser and nothing else, and hardware that supports that operating system and nothing else, something barebones" for a few years now. And I have been talking about "wireless broadband supported by ads" for a few years now. Actually that was my startup that Adam had put 50K of his money into, and 35K of money of people he knew. That money went back to the investors in February 2009 for understandable reasons. I liked the "we still believe in you, we still believe in the vision" parting talk. Lost the investment, kept the friendship. (Ignite, Set It On Fire)
The vision still rings true, only feels more possible due to the Chrome OS. The demand is still there. Billions lack wireless broadband. Heck, most people in America lack wireless broadband. (Job Search) Mobile is great, but you really need that screen size and keyboard size. Global South people are not mini people who can make do with mobile phones alone. Universal broadband will create One World for the first time ever.
Internet access is the voting right for this Internet Century.
Bill Gates thinks the world population will stabilize around nine billion. All countries can be turned into democracies. Poverty can be eradicated. Hunger can be ended. Universal broadband is possible. Big things are possible.
I don't think of the internet as a privilege that people get to access once they get rich enough, so focus on food. Cars, yes, but not the internet. The internet is the catalyst that will make all those other big things possible.
Google's Newest Venture: Google Ventures
Hunger, Vision, Money
"A country does not become fit for democracy, it becomes fit through democracy."
- Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize In Economics
Travel is like music. I never met anybody who did not like music. We no longer live in an era when you needed to be Marco Polo to travel. I have been all over America. I plan on going all over the world. Eventually. I got time. I have sketches in my mind for all India, all Africa, all China travels. You comb the land.