Before starting Bitmark, I led a team that created the world’s first open source phone – Openmoko. It might be hard to remember but, before the iPhone and Android, the mobile ecosystem looked nothing like the internet. Handset makers shipped shitty software that could not be updated. Carriers had absolute control over what could be on their networks. Together they crushed any innovation that could put their business model at risk. This is why instead of WhatsApp we got crap like WAP. It was an Orwellian world where individuals could not own anything about their phone. Openmoko‘s mission was to “free your phone”. We used open source software and a passionate community of amateurs to drive a wedge into those gatekeepers.
Openmoko was not financially successful, but we were recognized as the precursor to iPhone and Android. We left the first dent.
Sometimes, when think back I realize how close we came yet how far we had to go. It was a great ride.