What's Coming In 2008? Follow The Entrepreneurs - InformationWeek

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12/13/2007
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John Foley
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What's Coming In 2008? Follow The Entrepreneurs

Marc Fleury, Marc Maiffret, and Omar Tawakol are moving to new gigs. The startups they're joining represent some of what's next for the tech industry.

Marc Fleury, Marc Maiffret, and Omar Tawakol are moving to new gigs. The startups they're joining represent some of what's next for the tech industry.JBoss founder Fleury has begun working with startup Appcelerator, a company that, like JBoss, is commercializing open source. Whereas JBoss (now a division of Red Hat) developed a middleware stack around a Java application server, Appcelerator is focused on development tools for building rich Internet applications for services-oriented architectures.

Fleury writes about his reasons for joining Appcelerator's board of advisors (he's not a full-time employee) on his Maison Fleury blog. There are personal connections and physical proximity, since Appcelerator is based in Atlanta, Fleury's home town. According to Fleury's blog, the folks at Appcelerator created Ajax tools to use in development work they were doing for other companies, and they decided to take those tools to market.

Fleury describes it as "RIA for SOA." Part of his job is to help the company raise its visibility. He makes the advisory role sound easy. "All I do is listen to them and what they do and repeat to them what they told me," he writes. (Not unlike being an editor, I'd add.)

As reported by Dark Reading's Kelly Jackson Higgins, the 27-year-old Maiffret left eEye Digital Security, the security company he co-founded 10 years ago, with plans to start another company. Maiffret made his name as a hacker who realized it would be better to make a living as a legitimate security expert. (He appeared on the cover of InformationWeek in Nov. 2003. "When I was younger, I was up to no good," he said at the time.)

Maiffret plans to launch a startup in the first quarter of 2008. It will have something to do with mobile phones--and apparently, not security--but he's not saying much more than that. "Most people these days are walking around with basically a small 400-500Mhz computer in their pocket, and the most we are doing with it is phone calls, SMS, e-mail, and maybe GPS navigation--which is kind of a waste, considering the amount of technology we have in our pockets," he told Dark Reading. Maiffret continues to serve as an advisor to eEye Digital Security, and he's taking on consulting work too.

Tawakol, an advertising executive, is joining startup BlueKai. The company is in stealth mode, but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports BlueKai is building an advertising network that uses the information in software "cookies" in some way. BlueKai's Web site says the company is pursuing a "revolutionary new marketplace" but offers no details.

Until recently, Tawakol was chief advertising officer for mobile search startup Medio Systems. Medio Systems will have a strategic partnership with BlueKai, according to a statement issued by Medio Systems.

One way to know what's next is to follow the money. Another is to follow the talent. These three heading into rich Internet apps, mobile phones, and Web advertising.

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