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AirSet, Inc.
Type Privately held company
Founded 2003
Headquarters Berkeley, California, United States
Industry Cloud Computing
Employees 13
Website [1]

AirSet is a privately held cloud computing company based in Berkeley, California, United States. The company was founded by CEO Brian Dougherty along with a team of engineers from his past ventures, Eric Del Sesto, Doug Fults, and Tony Requist.

AirSet began by offering a mobile PIM solution[1] to help consumers effectively manage work and life. The mobile application was complimented by the AirSet web service.[2] AirSet has since evolved to become one of the first companies to provide group and personal cloud computers[3] to consumers and businesses.

Unlike other cloud computing services that offer enterprise solutions to companies, AirSet’s solution is also good for non-technical consumers and for everyday users. AirSet provides an integrated suite of group collaboration tools, information management tools, and a “code-free” web development tool for small businesses, school groups[4], families, community groups, and personal users.

In order to provide a visual metaphor that is familiar to the majority of computer users in the current market, AirSet changed its UI (User Interface) to one that resembles a PC desktop. So for those everyday users who want to take a leap of faith to work or collaborate “in the clouds”, they can still enjoy the familiar user experience of their desktop computer.

AirSet is accessible via an internet browser on a variety of hardware platforms such as PCs, netbooks, and nettops. The AirSet service is also available as a downloadable client to a handful of Java and Verizon (GetItNow) handsets.



AirSet is the fourth start-up founded by Brian Dougherty. A serial entrepreneur in the Berkeley community, Dougherty has taken public two of his three previous companies, Geoworks and Wink Communications.

According to the company’s website, “Dougherty came up with the idea of AirSet while he was on sabbatical. As he busied himself with obligations between family and community, balanced personal interests with his kids’ activities, Brian had a vision: everyone has a passion and something that he/she needs to do. Whether it’s starting a small business or managing a volunteering organization, balancing one’s own hectic life or connecting the members of a family, all of these things take a lot of time to coordinate and manage—someone should build a technology that helps everyone do these things more efficiently.”

AirSet introduced its cloud computer interface in 2008 and was featured on

AirSet was one of the exhibitors at the Web 2.0 Conference in 2008 and CNet News featured AirSet as "one of the most innovative companies" at the conference.[5] AirSet was also featured by Webware as one of the three “most interesting new products and services on display” at the Web 2.0 Conference.[6]

AirSet was introduced as primarily a calendar service in 2003.


Based on information provided by the AirSet website and comments from the AirSet user community website (, it seems that AirSet delivers three primary benefits:

A Personal Cloud Computer that helps an individual to manage his/her personal life. The personal cloud computer helps individuals to keep track of personal calendars and contacts on the web and across different devices (cell phones, PDAs, desktops, etc.). The personal cloud computer also makes it possible for an individual to access his/her files anywhere anytime.

A Group Cloud Computer comes with all the benefits of a Personal Cloud Computer. Moreover, it also helps members of a group find out what’s going on in the group, make plans together, and contribute their input to the group – thereby better collaborate, coordinate, and communicate with one another.

The last and most important benefit that AirSet provides is quite unique. It seems that once a user sets up a Personal Cloud Computer, and one (or more) Group Cloud Computer(s), all of these cloud computers are now networked together. The user can band together with other individual users in a number of groups that are of varying degrees of permanence. When the user leaves one group, he/she may lose membership to that one particular group, but retain all his/her other relationships.

One comment in the AirSet user community forum compared AirSet with other competitors. Creating new groups in Google Apps, Zoho Business, Blackboard, and Moodle follows a pyramid structure. If anyone wants to create a new group, they have to ask the person above them in the hierarchy. AirSet, on the other hand, is more like “an ideal 18th century town. Everyone is queen of her own castle, and people join together in different overlapping groups, needing nobody else's permission. I am the head teacher in the school and I rule the school group. Jeff is the head volunteer fireman and I am a member of his group. And so on. Importantly, groups can come and go. Some of us decide to hold a summer fair. The originator of the idea starts a temporary group. We join. The fair is held. The task is done and the group is disbanded. In this model there is no King, and groups are tools through which people come together for as long as necessary – and groups interact and overlap as needed.”[7]

See also


External links

Personal tools

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