I have spent the last two days showing the Fonera 2.0n to key opinion makers in the Valley and with a few exceptions I found a clear generational divide. To people over 40, my contemporaries, the key feature of the new Fonera, namely its ability to upload and download is mostly uninteresting. Older people seem to send and receive few large files from the Internet. People in their 20s however want one. They spend an incredible amount of time uploading to YouTube, Facebook, and to some extent Flickr and Picasa. More important they spend and even greater amount of time downloading from Bit Torrent sites, Megaupload, Rapidshare and they know what it is to wait and wait for content to download. For older people the only feature that they find interesting is converting 3G to WiFi (some spoke about using it for the kids in the van) and backing up their files. For many of them the feature that we are working on that will allow you to ask your computer to download torrents via Twitter and to be notified when they are done, was irrelevant. Because of my age, I should be on the group that finds the Fonera uninteresting. But I live in a country, Spain, in which we pay a tax on hard drives and digital memories of all kinds and then we are allowed to download whatever we want for personal use. Moreover I also download paid and free content. And as you can see in this blog, especially in the Spanish version, I also upload. There are tons of videos that I send to YouTube. As I switch to HD, at 100MB per minute of video content trying to reach Youtube, the waiting during uploading is exasperating. Instead with the Fonera 2.0n I send the video over WiFi to the Fonera 2.0n and go to work, in a few hours it is in Youtube.

So just like I had the idea for while Fon searching for WiFi in Paris in late ’05, I got the idea for the Fonera 2.0n a year later while trying to free up my laptop from doing tedious tasks that required me to wait at home such as uploading and downloading. In general I would say that I design products that I like to use. And thanks to the amazing team of developers we have at Fon, they happen. But from what I have seen my products are unfortunately not for my generation. Still so long as there are people who are willing to buy them why should I care if they are not in their 40s?

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

Esteban on July 16, 2009  · 

The key to understand that phenomenon is that you dont belong to your age, you stay young by keeping in touch with nowadays technology. Most of the people of your generation just cant do that because they dont like or they dont understand technology or maybe they dont have time to spend on acquiring that kind of kwnoledge.
Please stay young, so you can keep inventing great stuff that us, the new generation, can enjoy.

3.0 rating

javier guilléN on July 16, 2009  · 

Bueno, podrías añadir a la fonera 2.0n una función de llamada de emergencia a los hospitales, así les serviría también a gente de más edad… 🙂 (es sólo una broma, ya sabes el calor tiene estas cosas)

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Paul RODTS on July 16, 2009  · 

Martin, it’s the best idea in years !! You rock !

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Paul RODTS on July 16, 2009  · 

bye the way : I’m 50 years old….

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Comet on July 16, 2009  · 

Martin the reason for this is when this medium started to expand your generation wasn’t able to rip its benefits due to work and family. Younger people on the other way had plenty of time to wildness and participate on the evolution. The problem people have as they get older is keeping in touch with what goes around. You eighter are a dreamer that loves technological stuff and what people will be able to do in the future, but then again if that is the case you probably work in the industry, or you have other interests that aren’t much into “futuristic stuff” and thus you didn’t care when you were younger and still don’t care now. I’m 30 and my mother only recently started to admit that not knowing how to work with the computer is keeping her out of touch with a new reality. Many of her friends use the web now but even though the 3 males in the house always had an interest on computers she always saw that box on the secretary as a sort of a toy that took too much time of our younger minds.
But this divide will always happen. My girlfriend is also 30 and she does know how to work with this new technologies. After all this is stuff created during our teen days. But she doesn`t really care much about this stuff. It is just tools that were made available when she was younger. Unlike me she doesn-t surf the web looking for the latest scientific findings. She has other interests to take her time. I can already see that just like my mother whe she gets into her 40-50s she will also get out of touch with what`s new. Well hopefully Ill be there to keep her on the know.

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olivier on July 16, 2009  · 

What about making a grandpa version of your fonera, the fonera 2.0 GP ?!…


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Luis H on July 16, 2009  · 

Es el mejor producto que uno podría comprar para los tiempos que corren. Espero que la corrupción se termine pronto en mi país y puedas traer la fonera a Argentina, a pesar del tipo de cambio estoy dispuesto a comprarla.


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cristian on July 17, 2009  · 

people, la fonera has a lot of particularities, one of them is that this device really don’t work.
i’m a frustrated buyer of fonera 2.0.

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Paul RODTS on July 17, 2009  · 

@ Cristian,
Maybe you should do an extra effort and use this opportunity to explain what is wrong with your Fonera 2.0.
Complaining is great, finding solutions is greater and more satisfying, in my humble opinion…
So Cristian, tell them what’s wrong with it ….

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Ramiro Ferrer on July 31, 2009  · 

The heavily reduced ecological footprint is, probably, the key issue this device offers to the not-so-young generation. It just uses a lot less energy than a computer doing the same comparable things. Older people may not see the functionality advantages, but they certainly will see the reduce in the electricity bill, and can be taught on the smaller impact to the environment using the Fonera has.
Replace several million night-downloaders computers for Foneras, and there will be noticeable changes in energy consumption.

La Fonera is a great “green technology” advance.

3.0 rating

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