Last week, I got a chance to chat with Philippe Kahn, who while not as well known as Messers Jobs and Gates, is still true Silicon Valley blueblood. He headed up Borland, and started a couple of other companies including LightSurf and Starfish Software that made Truesync, a PIM synchronization software pioneer that was snapped up by Motorola. Back in the mid 1990s, who would have thought that synchronization your calendar, address book and to-do-list was going to be this important. Kahn did.
“You have all this information which is on your cell phone, and what if you lose it,” he says. Or how about the information sitting on your computer which doesn’t connect with your wireless devices. Ironically, Motorola despite buying Starfish, didn’t really make much progress. Now TrueSync is part of Intellisync’s portfolio. Kahn, who is a a founding member of SyncML – an industry effort to develop a single protocol for synchronization – says that most of the current solutions for synchronizing data are pretty complicated and difficult.
“Synchronization between various devices needs to happen quite automatically, without complication and has to be transparent,” says Kahn. “Most users don’t want to think about it, and do complicated thinks.” Kahn laments at the complexity of the current tools. “Visto and all are primitive and are good for early adopters who want to muck around with it,” he says. “ISync is nice and how it should work,” says Kahn who used Mac at home, and PC at work. “ISync is a great user experience.” (Problem… doesn’t support Samsung…sigh!)