The word is out now that dotMobi is picking up the Mowser assets. Like I said in my post about planning to shut down Mowser, the problem wasn’t with Mowser itself or the technique of content adaption or the mobile web as a whole. We just weren’t able to run Mowser as a media site and make the kind of money we needed from advertising. The folks at dotMobi however have a much different position in the market.
They’re already hooked up with folks looking to go mobile and in a unique position to offer the service without the hurdles Russ and I had in reaching motivated site owners. Like we discussed at the last Mobile Monday in Silicon Valley, one of the most important aspects of planning out a mobile business is to have the right partnerships in place to give you a strong market channel. Working independently Russ and I didn’t have that. dotMobi is in an excellent position to be able to try out some different models with the technology that made up Mowser – and has an existing audience and constant stream of new users to try it out on.
I’m actually out in Dublin right now working with the dotMobi team to figure out where to integrate Mowser and what products and services would benefit the most:
It’s an excellent chance to explore some of the ideas that Russ and I knew we would find it difficult to put into practice, as well as a chance to work with some folks I hold in high regard. I had already been talking to James about Mowser when Russ decided to shut it down, so shifting the conversation to purchasing the Mowser assets was natural. I’m pretty proud of the way things turned out. Not the part where we failed and had to give up, but all the stuff that’s happened since then. There’s a real strategic fit with the Mowser code at dotMobi, it’s going to a great team with a genuine goal of making the mobile web better, and instead of just shutting the thing down and dropping it we managed to dig Russ out of some of that infamous debt as well.
I’m going to remain in Dublin for the next week or so (returning to San Fran on May 16th). In the meantime we’ll be figuring out how to integrate the parts of Mowser and working up some roadmaps. Most likely the Mowser site will not keep operating as such, though I’m not sure what the timeline is for migrating the services. Once we do have a plan we’ll post it to the Mowser blog to give the folks who are currently using Mowser time to switch off or change services if they choose to.