Why Jimmy Wales Is Eyeing Mobile Space
Jimmy Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur known for his role in the creation of Wikipedia, a free, open-content encyclopedia launched in 2001. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, holding the board-appointed "community founder" seat. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a privately owned, free Web-hosting service, along with Angela Beesley.
Together with Larry Sanger and others, Wales helped lay the foundation for Wikipedia, which subsequently enjoyed rapid growth and popularity. As Wikipedia expanded and its public profile grew, Wales took on the role of the project's spokesman and promoter through speaking engagements and media appearances. Wales has been historically cited as the co-founder of Wikipedia but he disputes the "co-" designation, asserting that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia. Wales' work developing Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in its 2006 list of the world's most influential people.
Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Wales attended a small private school, then a university preparation school, eventually attaining a bachelor's degree and master's degree in finance. During his graduate studies he taught at two universities.
Question: Which big technological innovation will hit us next?
Jimmy Wales: One of the spaces I’m really watching very carefully is mobile space. I think that for a long time innovation on the mobile platform was held back by the carriers and their control of everything and their passion to control everything. Now that we are getting some brands of phones that are consumer brands that are popular enough that we’re starting to get the correct kind of separation of – people say they want an iPhone, or I want a Google phone, or a Droid Phone. People start to say those kinds of things and those are the brands they want. And the carrier is just whoever you get service from. And if we can break that control that the carriers have had over the platform then we get the same kind of innovation we had on computers on the internet. People can be building apps and doing all kinds of crazy things. And I don’t know what’s going to come out of that. I just know that when you put together a platform that people can innovate on, interesting things end up happening.
Innovation on the mobile platform has been held back by carriers—until now. The new possibilities have the Wikipedia founder excited.
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