Answer – it’s not, cos it irrelevant to us, DUH
I should know, cos I run HulloMail and here’s how it looks to me…
Wisdom of crowds? I think not.
So, how many monkeys does it take to get a 20/20 view on Google’s Voice Service?
Here in the UK it looks like crowdsourcing aint the answer if even a blog scrum on Techmeme can’t see the wood for the trees.
Problem is you can’t map a US solution to a Non-US context and expect it to work.
Why not? Cos it’s a solution to their problems and not ours – it’s a superb example of what I call ‘the fallacy of misplaced solutions’.
What does this mean? Quite literally – it’s a solution ok, but a solution that’s misplaced – ie ‘out of place’ here in the UK
What I mean is, if you’re stateside then you PAY TO RECEIVE CALLS . So let’s take their universal number for all your life and after concept – OK – so from now on your mum calls this number which then calls you – right so how does that get billed then?
Over here mobile has developed with different infrastructure, business models, usage patterns and its our main comms line with the world. So the universalist approach that works for Google in search (ie everyone everywhere searches for stuff and you can advertise to them and build a universal solution on the back of that) won’t work for mobile.
Global is the new local
“A number for life” – It’s been a number of years since UK phone users have enjoyed the freedom of moving between networks whilst keeping their number. People can already opt for a mobile number for life, without having to change it now.
“All change?” – Some say Google Voice is an attack on Skype; I have all my mates’ contacts already in Skype, and Skype is damn good - we use between mates and customers. Why would anyone now move across to Google and give up your skype ID?
“One number for all devices” –. I have a lot of American friends, and some do like the utility belt with multiple devices. So with Google Voice they can now take some time to set up rules for which device is called when, and for how long, until it eventually hunts you down. My big question is though - how many users in the UK have multiple devices for calling, texting and email anyway? For those of us in the UK that do have multiple mobile phones, there is a reason for it – we want you to have one number or the other! Do we really want all of those calls coming into one place?
“Free calls?” – I’ve already touched on this but by using Google’s new “number for life and after life”, all calls to your mobile will be indirect and made by Google. This works stateside because it’s the recipient that pays for their incoming calls, but in the UK as well as the rest of the civilized world, it is the calling party that pays the charge! So will your wife / girlfriend / kids that have free minutes to your mobile now lose these? How will Google accommodate free inclusive minutes different numbers with their current pricing regime? Who will pay for the call forwarding charge between your universal number and your mobile.!???
“Your email” – Many would say I’m obsessed with turning voicemail into email, so I’m absolutely flummoxed that Google have not fully integrated voicemails into GMAIL, and instead use another inbox! Man are they now so big its takes them two years to do something simple – how are they going to keep up with the fast-paced internet world? If you’re with Hotmail or Yahoo!, you’re out of luck, or is it time to change your email address too?
Fear and loathing?
So is this just so predictable, the old ‘he would say this anyway wouldn't he’ syndrome?
Aren’t I just another grandiose CEO of pinprick start-up that quivers after the Deathstar drops its payload?
Like – hello, no way dude! I've got the R&D team flat out right now working on a search engine.