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Originally published Monday, July 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Glympse lets you tell your location to others

A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:

What: Glympse, based in Redmond

Who: Bryan Trussel, 43, CEO

Mission: Provide an application for smartphones that allows customers to broadcast their exact location to selected recipients for finite periods.

Close watch: Glympse, which requires a smartphone with a GPS, allows users to send a link to a person who needs to know where they are. The recipient loads a map with a moving arrow tracing the sender's progress. While being followed like this can border on creepiness, there are two security safeguards: No personal information is included with the link, and the sender can limit access to a period from one second to four hours.

Zero in: "Using this you can let people know where you are and when you will arrive," Trussel said. "It's a lot more efficient than sending instant messages or making phone calls."

Employees: Eight

Financials: The company offers a free basic product and a more powerful version available by subscription. Trussel declined to reveal what enhanced features will be included in the paid version, nor did he project when the company might turn a profit. "We don't want to give anything away at this point," he said.

Jump right in: Trussel expects the program to catch on through a viral process, and he predicts people who receive a Glympse link from a friend will immediately want to try it themselves. "People understand the value of this program right away," he said. "They can go from not knowing who we are to using us regularly in a very short time."

Fast path: Three of Glympse's principals are Microsoft veterans, now living on the edge. "This is different from working for a big company with deep pockets," Trussel said. "We can make decisions instantly, and there is no safety net."

— Charles Bermant

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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