The premise is quite simple. Sign on to Jott, upload your contact list, call their number and leave a message. The message is translated and forwarded to the contact, or group, as an e-mail. So, if you're driving down the highway and you want to leave a quick e-mail for your wife, you pick up your phone and leave the message. I've been using it on and off for a bit, and the translations are fairly accurate and certainly usable. Like Twitter, Jott sits at the intersection between real time communications and social networks. You can create groups that you can Jott too, and I see that Andy Abramson uses Jott as well. It keeps a history of all my Jotts, and could almost serve as a to-list archive. All very cool.
Jott is still in Beta (what does beta mean these days, anyways?), so I suppose I should feel some reluctance to bash them for not having an API. I don't. They need one, because if they had one, I would be in telephone mashing Valhalla. The current system only works on e-mail, so although it's great that I can communicate quickly with my friends, family or take notes for myself, the interface to the rest of my workflow is clunky. If I had an API, then it would be a simple matter to Jott myself tasks for my 30boxes calendar. As it is, I'll have to go through hoops to get that integrated. Any cursory glance into mobile workflow automation shows you how important Jott's functionality is, and their lack of API hinders that important, and lucrative, market adoption. I'd also ping them for having a "I simply scaffolded this in rails" contact management solution. I have about 500 contacts in Jott, and I'd like to erase them, so I can load up a more current set. I have to page through 20 pages of 25 contacts each to delete them, and unfortunately, I've seen speedier web sites. A little more sophistication here would be nice.
There's a kid in my Karate class who's so excellent when he concentrates and pays attention. A true natural. When I catch him looking anywhere but in front, I want to smack him - because I hate to see such talent wasted by stupid stuff. The Jott implementation is a bit rough, but a diamond, nonetheless.
- Technically, I'd give them a B. They could be an A, and I think nothing hard is stopping them from getting there. Give me a more mature contact management solution, I'll give them a B+. Give me a good API, they earned that A.
- From a business standpoint, I give them an A-. The service is valuable, and over time, because of their social networking angle, hard to replicate. I don't see them charging money yet, but they could.
- From a buzz standpoint, a B+. I'm buzzed about them, and think they have great things in front of them. In the circles I travel, Jott isn't spoken of with awe and respect, but they should be. It's a great idea whose time is come.