Jeff Pulver’s VoIP Investment Challenge

July 26, 2007

in general

I’m considering blogging a Dear Jeff letter. Not today as you only get one chance to pitch and I’m going to frame some territory first. I’d need some encouragement to take it forward. Jeff’s called for More Innovation in Voice Services and clearly targets his interests at something that’s not more of the same. He follows it up with

The Jeff Pulver Blog:

Just to be clear, what I am looking for are new ideas and new innovations. From people NOT involved in a startup yet. Looking for people who have the seed of an idea in their mind that are waiting to take the next step and make their dreams come true…that’s where I come in. That’s what this challenge is all about.

So far I qualify and I’d add a couple of starting points.

  • We use communications and we are or will be all channel agnostic. We won’t care over what transport it goes as long as it is secure.
  • We want different mode’s of communication. Visual, talk, real-time text, asynchonous connections etc. Simplified it is Talk, Text or Post. Skype, Gtalk, phone number SMS, etc. all irrelevant; just channels for lowest cost.
  • We want communications that reflect relationships and context.
  • We want communications that are under our own control. The telephone really is obsolete. The caller remains in charge. We require a control paradigm. Tipping access control changes everything.

In Jeff’s original post he alludes to an API to Facebook and Twitter. These API’s are too basic for our real communications needs. They are the starting point. Presence too is dead. At least presence as we knew it (available, not available etc.) Context we are just beginning to see and respond to. It has to build on these in the beginning.

Facebook could own “communications” its already a better directory service. Still it isn’t engineered to really be the People’s Directory. However, if I was AT&T I’d be worried. The longer term play is one where “we own it” and we individually are in charge of all communications.

My passion remains in this area as it tips the economics in favor of you and me. In the end this is a play about information, packet control, and beliefs. The next inflection point for communications is the business that will truly empower the individuals role in communications. There’s a lot of money ultimately at stake.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cooli July 27, 2007 at 1:19 am

Stuart, are you on Jaiku? (not exactly related to this post, but I was thinking about that if you want to try applications that enhance “people communication”)

Stuart July 27, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Yes I’m on Jaiku and agree with you that it is going in the right direction.

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