Monday, 23 July 2007

Divergent needs

Despite its name, this blog is not about rebuilding telecommunications hardware. Its about the business of making calls and messaging more ubiquitous via software - the cables and wires can stay where they are.

Have a look at the Economist article "Home truths about telecoms". The use of communication technology is not converging. Most of us use a mixture of channels; the good old land line as the household or work "collective channel" for quasi public calls, mobile for last minute co-ordination, texting for intimacy, email for admin, IM for continuous communication.

This tells us that people want lots of different solutions, to fit different needs and circumstances. Mixing two different high technologies e.g. video + phone = videophone without working out what the need is doesn't work. Nobody wanted a videophone because it didn't fit a communication niche. Find the niche, then make the tech work.

So it should be quite possible to hit the right untapped communication niche with the right combination of software, and the right web services. A simple idea like sending a message to a different device depending on the time of day and what the recipient is doing hasn't really been licked yet. There are probably a lot of ways to mash up comms; some of which will make a strong business case.