Paul Boutin: "If wireless Internet access is such a hot technology, why is it such a dud business?" - Paul points out what I've told several people lately. Starbucks, Borders etc. have the wrong business model. When I'm traveling I don't want to pay $30 a month on an annual contract to catch up on e-mail, but if there is a place that offers free access I'll go there and spend plenty of money to make it worth their while. Would I do it for a small one-time fee? Yes, when I'm traveling. But I've got much more time (and money) to spend when I'm at home. And the expense of the applications to setup the micro payments and run a timer is greater than the return. The normal trips to the local library for a place to connect and work in a place other than the office would quickly be replaced by sitting in Starbucks or Borders or somewhere else spending for a $5.00 coffee.
by Joshua Brauer on August 13, 2003