Monday, July 23, 2007

Jeff Pulver's VoIP Innovation Challenge - Reality VoIP

If anybody knows about innovation and disruption in the VoIP space, it's the man who hosts my blog, Jeff Pulver. A nice confluence of events led a post from Jeff today, which is basically an offer to possibly make some of his personal seed capital available to someone who can show him something truly different that's worth funding.

While this sounds a bit like Reality TV --- well, Reality VoIP --- if you can't motivate people with fame and fortune, I'm not sure there's any hope left for the disruptors out there. While Jeff is far from being the only game in town with seed capital to invest, he's coming from a really good place, and he knows disruption when he sees it.

So, what brought this on all of a sudden? Two things. First was the firestorm of blogging and emailing set off by the launch of Ooma late last week. Having done a lot of what Ooma is offering today a few years ago, Jeff wasn't seeing much disruption there, so he's been stewing about this for a bit. Secondly, as he explains in today's post, he spoke at a conference on Friday - IPTComm 2007. His co-panelists were A-list SIP pioneers, and he was dismayed to hear nothing inspiring from anyone. If this crowd can't take advantage of what IP really has to offer, then we're in trouble, folks.

Putting those two pieces together, it's not hard to see where Jeff is coming from today. It's not the first time he's dangled the dollar out there to bring the disruptors out of the woodwork. Quite honestly, if I had Jeff's money and as much skin in the game as he does, I'd probably do the same thing too. We can put a man on the moon, but we can't find a killer app for VoIP. Is it in you? Jeff's waiting for your call....

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