Name: Reality Mobile LLC
Funding: The company is self-funded. "We're trying to bootstrap and grow organically," said founder and funder David Rensin, who also was a co-founder of Riverbed Technologies, a Vienna mobile computing software company that was sold to Aether Systems of Owings Mills for about $800 million in stock in 2000.
Reality Mobile chief executive David Rensin, left, and vice presidents Brian Geoghegan and David Kramer help customers cut through mobile communications hyperbole with their consulting partnership.
(Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post)
Big idea: Reality Mobile is a consulting partnership that bills itself as a company that cuts through the hype in the mobile communications market, giving large enterprises (particularly in the intelligence community) objective advice on what will work, what won't, what's overpriced and what's too risky. "After 9/11 everyone's continuity of operations plans require them to be mobile," Rensin said, but carrying or exchanging data outside the office is complicated and inherently risky.
Where the idea was hatched: Rensin said he started talking to friends during summer 2003 about starting a mobile communications services company. "We wanted to use the lessons we learned, good and bad, to be a check." He believes the enterprise mobile communications industry was overhyped during the tech boom and a string of empty promises about what mobile communications could do killed the commercial market. "We got in and found the market was practically dead because people had been burned. We also found the federal government has a huge need to make stuff mobile."
Big-name customer: Rensin said he could not name his customers but that all are in the intelligence community or law enforcement.
Founded: October 2003
Who's in charge: Rensin, chief executive, president and founder; David Kramer, vice president and chief operating officer; Darryl Garrett, vice president, national security sector; and Brian Geoghegan, vice president and general counsel.
Web site: www.realitymobile.com
Partners: The company has no partners. "You never want to be on both sides of the table," Rensin said. "It's a perception you want to avoid."
What the name means: "We knew we were focusing on mobile and wireless and we wanted the name to speak to our core value proposition: that you weren't going to get spun, you were going to get the unvarnished truth," Rensin said.
Best employee perk: "Sodas and snacks are about it. We're not spending money on masseuses or Aeron chairs anytime soon," Rensin said.
Quote: "We're professional contrarians, which makes us attractive for both criticism and customers, depending on who you are," Rensin said. "We like pricking bubbles and finding where the hype is."