Friday, May 26, 2006

Vonage Wrapup

Am sure you've been Vonage'd to death at this point, but for completeness, I just wanted to tie up some loose ends on coverage from various sources and voices.

First, my guest post just started running on Om Malik's blog , and there are comments there already. You can read it here. Thanks, Om! Gotta get to those comments now...

Second, three Vonage IPO stories I was cited in since my last post...

National Post Mark Evans and I are both wondering why this went so wrong. Still are. Maybe the market is just plain right, and wants no part of a business based on a business model they don't think can ever work. On that note, Mark makes a great comparison to satellite radio, which is a very similar situation. Lots of hype, cool service, affordable, but a money pit. And their ARPUs are way lower than Vonage, with little room to grow, esp since most alternatives are free. For them, it's even more of a numbers game. Imagine Vonage trying to enter the market 5 years from now, when voice calls will probably all be free, and it will be a lot like how radio is today. - what traders think. Two articles:

Today - a very interesting piece from Jonathan Berr about how AOL customers cannot get Vonage, and some of the issues around that. A good read, and another interesting angle on how life is not easy for Vonage. Am not sure what the issues really are there, but would welcome comments from those who do.

Yesterday - wrapup from Jonathan of Vonage's day 1

Of course, there has been lots of commentary elsewhere. Aside from the blogs related to the above items, Jim Courtney has a nice wrap up of interesting posting on yesterday's Skype Journal. I particularly like his reference to Andy Abramson's thoughts, esp his view that Vonage's poor showing does not sink the VoIP market for future IPOs. I've been very concerned about this, and I sure hope Andy is right. So, hopefully the market will look at other companies differently, especially those with very different business models and expectations. On the vendor side, several companies seem ready for IPO, such as BroadSoft, Sylantro, Acme Packet, NexTone and Veraz. These aren't household names of course, but anyone following this space knows these are quality companies going in the right direction.

Another tangent is the Jeff Pulver connection. Jeff is a Vonage founder, so has a lot at stake here, albeit just as an investor now. It was nice to see some posts recognizing his contribution and vision here, as Vonage is just one of many, many things Jeff has had a beneficial hand in. Alec Saunders has a nice wrap up here, with the gist being that Vonage may have turned out differently has Jeff had remained more involved. How's that for a "what if?" Well said Alec - and Andy.

As a last word, I just wanted to note the irony for Vonage going public the same time as MasterCard. Their IPOs have gone in different directions, and it really makes you wonder. Vonage is in a business that is delivering cheaper, faster, better service to consumers, who stand to benefit from all the wonderful things that IP has to offer. It's a good news story. I'm suspending disbelief for a moment here about the bad stuff, but it's a bit troubling to see them tank while the market rewards a company that helps consumers go even deeper into debt as our economy bumbles along on out of control debt and deficits. Is it just me?

Technorati tags: , , , ,

1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Nail

Not sure if this is a right place... We have growing electronic newsletter mailing list, and I'm desperate to find decent, reasonably priced software or shareware for list management and distribution. We've been using Outlook and ACT and they're not working well. I was found at bulk email software for sending newsletter. Are there other good options to help save my sanity? Does anyone know of any good hosting company that can handle bulk email? We need to send newsletters to about 900 customers without the hassle of restrictions. Thanks!