Having been in startups for the past decade and a half, I've seen the toll the ride takes on founders' relationships with each other. There's at least a 50/50 chance it ends sour. But if you've made it thru to the other side with your relationship in tact, you better harness it and build on that chemistry, for it's rare. To that end, I'm getting the band back together for my next startup. Today, Ben Dean (my co-founder from Jangl) joins me on our next mission, called "Cc:Betty". And I'm soooo excited to apply some lessons learned...
When I first started this blog it was titled "VoIP, Mobile, Web & People". I've gotten heat from some of my buddies in the VoIP oriented blogosphere, rousing me for being quiet on some active topics over the past few months.
I've been relatively light on blogging since Jangl's unfortunate sale attempt and it's eventual, equally as unfortunate sale (which many refer to as its demise). I've also held back a ton from commenting on the various blogs about the consumer VoIP space, that invariably always bundle Jangl in with the rest of the herd. I've held back on flaming those bloggers for their inaccurate depiction of what Jangl was in this once hot hyped space. I've held back on posting the fact that Jangl had two business models and was not focused on cheap calling. I've held back on the fact that Jangl's relationship based numbering scheme was more than just novel (in fact, you'll see Google is now using this technique to let people SMS their Gmail contacts). I've held back on the fact that Jangl's partners and customers still seek my help in deploying talk/text services on their properties. (Apparently none of the old Jangl team are left at the new Jangl).
Why hold back on such strong convictions? Two reasons:
1. No one really cares. The consumer VoIP market place has been for sale for at least two years, and very few people care. Skype got its hit, and nothing else since has been big enough to move anyone's needle. I remember when BT was in town about a year ago to review all the consumer VoIP players. I was in their offices pitching them on why Jangl was going to be the cool, hip service which replenished their stodgy customer base with youth. I saw every one of my competitor's business cards on the BT conference room table. Ribbit won, much to everyone's surprise. They were in fact probably the only one of the bunch that weren't shipping anything, and had a mismatch between what they were building and who they were building it for. And yes Jaxtr is still in play, mostly due to their last round of financing which was done based on the millions of free users they claimed (it's been proven over and over - you can get millions of users if you give them free phone calls, but you can't bank roll that model forever). Again, in my opinion....no one cares.
2. I've been immersed in what's next. (Dwelling in what coulda/shoulda/etc isn't conducive to your next at bat. Take the lessons and run). I had about ten different ideas for what's next since last Spring. In validating those, I narrowed it down to three, then to two. And now one. It's been a journey, and I think, a thoughtful one. I tend to blog what's on my mind, but given the stage I'm in, I can't so much, which is another reason my blogging has been light.