Monday, April 16, 2007

Vonage is stuck?

A long time ago, I worked with a completely brilliant man named Bernard. I wish I had taken more careful notes while we worked together, because I find that I continually hear his voice in the back of my head giving advice. When I caught that Andy Abramson blogged about Vonage not having a work-around for the Verizon patent, Bernie's voice appeared yet again. Unlike all the other times disembodied voices appear, I welcome his voice.

"There are two kinds of engineers - those that know how to get unstuck, and those that don't. All engineers get stuck on problems, and some stay that way." We used to hire and team up engineers on this principal, making sure that the junior engineers were paired with a senior engineer to forestall this very phenomenon.

Is Vonage stuck? I can't believe it. How is it possible that, given all of the heads up, given the time in court, given the nearly infinite possibilities of implementation choices, that there is no workaround. I wish that I was not so full-out on all of my current designs, because I would take a crack at this one for free. (Oooohh.... Bernie's voice again. Not for free - right. Thanks, Bernie.) I simply cannot believe that there isn't a senior engineer in Vonage with the WD-40 to get this problem unstuck.

Somebody, please read that patent for me and tell me what the big deal is.


Moshe Maeir said...

Our friend Jon Arnold, seems to think this is a gambit to raise the stakes.

Thomas Howe said...

Hey Moshe -

Yes, I read Jon's article... his insight is always valuable. My gut reaction would be that, either way, Vonage isn't acting all that competent.

I should actually FIND a workaround, and then auction it off on Ebay. Hmmmmm... maybe THAT's a business model.

Stay safe, Moshe. Keep that planet flat.