Flarion Technologies, in particular, will be putting up the bunting: We've made the wireless data service vendor numero uno.
That's no reason for complacency, though, as our pecking order will be livelier than a bag of ill-tempered monkeys. The fast pace of this industry means there'll likely be movement up and down, and in and out, of this list in the coming months. The Top 25 report gives you the ins and outs of what we did and how we did it – and how we know that things will change sooner rather than later.
While the Top 25 is divided into five categories – services, hardware, components, applications and back office systems – each with five Unstrung Heroes to reflect the complete spectrum of the industry, we've decided to rank all the companies in one long list, just to spice things up. You can see the full rundown in the report, but by way of a taster, here are the first five Unstrung Heroes taken from all categories:
1. Flarion Technologies
2. Atheros Communications
3. MeshNetworks Inc.
4. iPass Inc.
5. Webraska Mobile Technologies SA
Prominent in the "close, but no cigar" category are three companies that excited a lot of message board action when we first tossed out the idea of the Top 25 (see message board comments at the foot of Privates on Parade: The Unstrung Top 25 ) – namely, Tahoe Networks, Megisto Systems, and WaterCove Networks Inc.
So, what's the deal? Are we being deliberately cruel? Not at all. All three companies are dead interesting and show great potential, but we need evidence of customer trials before they can be considered for contention in the hardware category. We know there's some testing ground action – we're just waiting for folks to confirm the details and prove themselves as contenders in the battle for contract business with some of the wireless industry's more established players, such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY), and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK).
We're sure the message boards will be rife with celebration, intrigue, and (no doubt) the odd dose of condemnation. Most of all, we look forward to insightful and constructive analysis of the choices made in our inaugural Top 25 of privately-held companies. Oh, all right, we admit it – we're quite looking forward to some serious bitching, too.
— The Staff, Unstrung