Most of the apps being developed for Android phones are consumer apps. Yet enterprise apps could be much more lucrative. One startup focusing on enterprise apps for Android is 3LM, a company so stealth that it's Website is nothing more than a Google Sites landing page with nothing on it but the words “Coming Soon.” The top search result for 3LM links to this question on Quora, which remained unanswered until now.
I've been digging around, and found out a little bit about 3LM. It raised a $1.5 million seed round in July from Accel Partners and other investors. The company was founded by Tom Moss and Gaurav Mathur, both ex-Googlers who used to work on the Android team. Moss was in charge of business development for Android, striking many of the deals with handset manufacturers and carriers. Guarav was on the Android engineering team.
It not clear exactly what kind of enterprise apps 3LM is working on, but there is a lot of opportunity there to make existing enterprise apps Android-compatible and then build out new apps as well. When it comes to the mobile enterprise apps, Blackberry is feeling the heat from both Android and the iPhone. Mobile workers increasingly are choosing those smartphones, and putting pressure on their corporate IT departments to support them. The low-hanging fruit seems to be some combination of contact-management, location, and CRM. Startups like NitroDesk are already pursuing that market.
Oh, and I was able to find out one more little detail about the company. 3LM stands for the Three Laws Of Mobility, which is a play on Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, except they are applied to mobile phones instead of robots. The Three Laws of Mobility are
- Protect your user. A mobile device may not harm its user or, through inaction, allow its user to come to harm though malicious code or content.
- Protect yourself. A mobile device must protect itself and the integrity of its data and secured communications.
- Obey. A mobile device must let the user use the device freely, as long as such usage does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Those are laws all mobile apps could live by.