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Not Wired

Flash: The Internet is not the final frontier for way-of-life-changing industries. Such opportunities seem to be opening up every time you turn around. Next up: wireless services.

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"The opportunities today in wireless are much, much bigger than what I saw in the computer business back in 1983. Today's opportunities are tenfold greater," says Philippe Kahn, CEO of LightSurf Inc., a Santa Cruz, California, company that produces software for the wireless Web. And he should know.

Back in '83, Kahn was a pioneering software developer who quickly created two big hits-SideKick and TurboPascal-and thereby snagged an enduring place in tech history. But, he says, the possibilities that lie in the wireless information landscape are vastly richer than what he saw in 1983. For a very simple reason, really: "The numbers were so much smaller back then," explains Kahn, who recently sold his TrueSynch technology-for synching data between such devices as cell phones and computers-to cell-phone giant Motorola for an undisclosed amount. In the early '80s, PC users were sparse, which meant the market upside was funda-mentally tiny. But nowadays, he says, the potential audience for wireless Web products and services is already in the tens of millions of users. Says Kahn, "Today's landscape is explosive."

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