A low-budget television ad ("Text now, and receive a joke a day!") inspired Asher Delug and Steven Austine to start GoLive! Mobile, a company that sends videos, social-network notifications, and other information to users' mobile phones. At first, the company set up mobile text services for clients such as NBA All Star Tracy McGrady, who had a mobile fan site, and the FBI, which ran a text-message-based tip line. But Delug and Austine eventually realized that it was more profitable to create and sell their own mobile content. Today, they operate FlirtSpin, a mobile dating service; CinemaMob, which sends links to movie clips; and FoneSocial, which texts customers when they receive updates on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. After someone signs up for one of the services, a monthly fee appears on his or her phone bill. The company has one million paying subscribers.
BURT HELM is a senior writer for Inc. magazine. In 2013, his Inc. feature “After the Squeeze” was awarded the Stephen Barr Award for Feature writing, and his stories “After the Squeeze,” and “Turntable.fm: Where Did the Love Go?” received awards from Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Prior to Inc. he worked as a reporter for Bloomberg News and a department editor for Businessweek. He is a graduate of Yale University with a double major in Physics and English. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. @burthelm