I know that I rail about horizontal services all the time, and frankly, I think that gaboogie will have the same issues as well. It will suffer from the twin challenges of customer education (most people won't know it exists) and customer habituation (people have to change their habits to use it). In my book, the saving grace is the Internet's long tail effect, which would be since the cost of incremental delivery is nearly zero, there may be enough scattered demand to make a decent business for them. I hope so, as I think this is a real problem that begs for a simple solution.
How does it stack up?
- Technically, my first impressions are a B+. I love the simple design, and I caught wind from a job posting that they are using Freeswitch in their network. (Rock on with that one). The mapping of functionality is sparse, and I hope it stays that way, as it eases customer education. As a rapidly aging telecom geek, I have the suspicion that ease of use will be dashed upon the corporate IVRs that will inevitably be in the call flow. The fact they give you a dial in number will really help here, but I gotta think that it will be a jarring experience for those involved. No API yet, or I would be mashing it up with 30 boxes this morning.
- From a business perspective, a solid B. Getting conference calls started on time is a real problem, and they have the basic right solution for it. In time, I'm sure it will be an excellent solution. I have a marketing issue though, as I believe that they have a consumer company name for what is essentially a business offering. (I'm not the only one with the opinion.) It won't be that difficult to reproduce the service today, but there's opportunities to create community and hard to replicate data with time - I hope they exploit that.
- Buzz, another B. They have today's look and feel, a sense for the problem, and a decent approach to solving it. They certainly aren't leading the charge, but they are solidly in the pack.