Dopplr has just been acquired by Nokia. Dopplr is a web service that lets you share your travel plans with your network and exchange travel tips and advice about cities around the world. It helps you make your traveling smarter and more enjoyable. Dopplr calls this aggregate of collective intelligence the “Social Atlas”, a cutting-edge service that has provided the team with new insight on how people and location interact. I invested with Dopplr on the first round for the same reasons that I make all my investments. An entrepreneur I admire, in this case Marko Ahtisaari, and a product I use, Dopplr.

Nokia is an excellent platform for the development of this know-how. While I really don’t know what Nokia plans to do with Dopplr I believe that an integration of the service with Nokia phones would make a lot of sense. A mobile Dopplr is the ultimate pocket travel guide. Anytime, anywhere and in the palm of your hand you have the best restaurants, bars, clubs etc. that people who you trust recommended. This element, “the people you trust” is very important. There are many sites that recommend hotels. Trip Advisor is a great one. But the problem I have with Trip Advisor, or IMDB is that I many times find that my taste is more like that of my friends than that of the world at large. I don´t care where the average person wants to stay, or where the average person wants to eat, or where the average person wants to go. I care where my friends who are my most trusted advisors want to go. And that is Dopplr.

Lastly I would like to say that is interesting that Nokia continues to acquire companies of friends of mine. Plazes in which I also invested, and Plum. Nokia continues to be the number one technology company in Europe and Europe needs a strong Nokia. And where Nokia is weak is in services, in software small acquisitions make sense.

Disclosure I own Nokia shares.

Congratulations to Marko Ahtisaari, Matt Biddulph and the Dopplr team!

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Cristobal Viedma on September 28, 2009  · 

As you said, the element “people you trust” is, without any doubt, very important.
First of all because is user generated content and, as the 2.0 wave showed, we tend to believe much more in what non-biased people say than what professionals say.
Secondly because we know most of the people who we trust, family and friends, are people that (normally) share the same kind of interest as us.

However, there is one aspect that I think is what made Twitter big. It’s the fact that you MIGHT want to read, or trust, someone that might not know you. You might believe Obama, but he might not know you. It’s about finding people who share the same interest as you and then you will be willing to read/follow their “tips”. TripAdvisor is kind of following more this, but in an anonymous way. Is this really a social network? is Twitter really a social network?

I think in the travel scene it is important to have this two elements: anonymous recommendations that will lead to future connections, and true relationships such as the ones with your friends and family.
And it has to be as open as twitter.

José Alarcón on September 29, 2009  · 

I read yesterday about Nokia acquisition of DOPPLR in the Nokia intranet and knowing that Marko is or has been involve with Fon, I came to your blog and found that you had already posted about it!

I just joined DOPPLR yesterday. I was impressed by the simple user interface and the whole idea behind is great, no more boring hotel nights when traveling for business :) I hope now Nokia will make a good job integrating this service with the existing ones to make an even better user experience. However, being Marko son of whom he is and the connections he might (or should!) have at high levels inside Nokia, someone may wonder whether the decision to buy DOPPLR was merely done because of the value it brings to Nokia or because any other reason. I tend to trust Nokia management team and I am sure that they bought it because it brings value. Now let’s make the best of it!

For those who don’t know, Marko Ahtissari is son of Martti Ahtissari, former president of Finland (1994-2000) and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize.

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