This is definitely a month where I'm having a lot of flashbacks. Today, someone in Australia sent me a link to a product I conceived and architected as founding CEO of Eba Systems.
Back in the early, painful, optimistic days of enterprise wireless data and WAP, I was convinced that enterprise users would demand corporate data on handheld wireless devices. Never mind the fact that in 1998, the convergence of the internet and wireless applications was just starting; I foolishly believed this would all come together in 3-5 years. At any rate, I put together a team that developed the first wireless application server that connected Siebel Sales Enterprise to PalmOS devices. We managed to generate about $250K in revenue AND ship the product in 9 months on only $1.2M of outside funding(yours truly was in the hole on this some additional amount I don't even want to know to this day).
We were early, I made a bunch of mistakes as a first time CEO, but came pretty close to selling the company to Siebel before having to settle for a lower cost sale to Iormyx. The day of our big demo to Siebel was probably one of the most important lessons I've every learned; EVEN if you delegate something to your direct reports...Verify, Verify, Verify...but that's another story...
I believe that enterprise wireless applications aren't dead at all; actually I speculate that a lot of companies are toying with deploying low cost, internally developed apps to WiFi or WIMAX in the near future. A lot of wireless development energy has focused on the consumer; I will be interested to see if the widgetization on the consumer side leads to better experiences for enterprises.