Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Game's Afoot

A massive shout-out to my man Dean at Cognation, who has taken up my recent challenge about the future success (or lack thereof) of Ooma. From his recent comment :

Ok Thomas I'm prepared to step up and take that bet from you, easy money in my books.

In 12 months from now I bet that Ooma will still be in business and am prepared to wager a dinner here in New York.

Reply post here to your blog to accept so we have this on public record.

It may be because of some of the consulting projects I've been involved with here at but I think Ooma have capture some very interesting aspects;

1/ Ease of use and design (so sorely lacking in a large number of basic projects I see) their ATA is 'the' best ata I've seen, nothing revolutionary but it's just well designed plain and simple.
....and whats dissapointing about this fact is that with all the brains in the voip industry no one else came up with this design until now.

2/ Ease of uptake (keeping original number is such a barrier to entry to skypein and similar - yes I'm looking at you Grand Central).

3/ Ease of implementation in their business model (peer to peer using existing ethernet/internet infrastructure with zero billing - how easy is that).

Like I said easy money and I look forward to accepting your bet.

I'll set up a page on the website to track developments over the next 12 months.
Now, since they've raised a bazillion dollars, there's no reason why they should EVER go out of business, so we'll need a better measure than the doors closing. That aside, I'm up for this bet, partly because I think it will be fun, but partly because I love dinner in New York. I'm betting that ease of use, ease of implementation and ease of uptake will spiral into the ground because it's simply not that valuable to the target customer. I say we pick a number of Ooma subscribers, and let's see if they go over that number. I'm not going to suggest that Ooma get a five million subscriber number, like the iPhone - or even a moderate number, like a million, that Vonage had. Can anyone think of a good metric? Outside of dinner, it's not that I'm hoping for Ooma's demise. In fact, I'd be tickled pink for them to succeed. My breath? Not holding it. I'm just hoping, just like many others, that this is the last effort at a business model that seems to fail nearly every time it's tried.

No comments: