1. berryite's Avatar
    There is another thread here in the app forum where things got a little heated recently about the topic of Google Voice. Another CrackBerry poster and I went a few rounds. We were both right and both wrong on a couple of points.

    Let me address where I was probably pretty wrong. The history of one-number service providers is not pretty. Most have failed. I observed that and in that observation I was right. I came into that other thread with this bias but in doing so *I underestimated* Google which was probably a kinda dumb thing to do. Google is a company run by some truly brilliant people - the best and brightest in our technology sector.

    I apologize for underestimating Google. They are indeed much smarter than I am.

    How did I underestimate Google and when did I find this out? This afternoon. I started doing some additional information about what Google's long-term plans are for Google Voice and ... low and behold ... the pieces started falling into place. Google knows what the errors of others who have tried and failed in the one-number provider arena. And they have a plan to make Google Voice successful. Google is an unbelievable company. Here's part of their plan:

    Original Article Here ---> Google Voice’s Secret Weapon: Number Portability

    Google Voices Secret Weapon: Number Portability

    Comments by Michael Arrington on June 14, 2009

    Google Voice, formerly GrandCentral, is a seriously heavyweight product. When it relaunched in March, just a couple of months ago, we gave Google Voice a glowing review.

    Once youve jumped in head first to the product it will straighten out your phone life forever. Youll never have to worry about figuring out which phone numbers to give to different people. Give them one number - your Google Voice number - and then use rules to determine where your calls go based on whos calling and what you are doing.

    There are significant switching costs, though. You have to tell everyone your new phone number and get them to start using that, instead. New business cards have to be printed, which is another cost. For most people, thats just too much heavy lifting to fully embrace the service. And theres the additional problem of your outbound calls and outbound text messages showing the phone number of the device you are calling from instead of your Google Voice number. Your friends need to store that number or they wont know whos calling. And once its stored, theyll use it, bypassing all the great voicemail and call routing features of Google Voice.

    But Google has a plan to deal with all of these issues, weve heard. And it starts with Number Portability.

    Today you are issued a new phone number when you sign up for Google Voice. But weve confirmed that a very small number of people have ported their existing numbers to Google (Google uses Level3 to handle phone numbers). In the U.S. its possible to port any phone number to another service provider - even a mobile number to a voip provider like Level3.

    Google is only testing the service for now, but weve heard from a source inside Google that they plan to roll out number portability as a general feature later this year. Once that happens, users will be able to move the phone number theyve had forever to Google, and avoid the switching costs.

    That means you can switch your mobile number to Google and then just use whatever device you happen to have in your hand to receive calls. Thats an extremely powerful feature for Google Voice.

    Outbound calls from those devices will still show whatever phone number is assigned to it, though. But Google has that covered, too. Weve learned that they are preparing to launch apps for the major smartphone platforms that will automatically route outbound calls through Google Voice. That means whoever you call will see your Google Voice number as the caller.

    Im banging on every door I can find to get Google to let me port my mobile number over to them as soon as possible. Ill have to pay a $175 fee to AT&T to switch away, but its worth it. As long as Google is around I wont have to be shackled to any of the ridiculous U.S. mobile carriers. I can just use whatever device Im testing at any given time as my main phone. And I wont have to ask people to call me at my home VoIP line when Im here just because my iPhone doesnt work at all at my house. Instead I can just switch my inbound calls to Vonage. Callers wont know the difference.
    07-09-09 02:17 AM
  2. jamestbrewer's Avatar
    Wow berryite, you seem to have some sort of vendetta against GV. A vendetta that seems to turn a blind eye to basic logic and this article seems to keep that same view.

    Im banging on every door I can find to get Google to let me port my mobile number over to them as soon as possible. Ill have to pay a $175 fee to AT&T to switch away, but its worth it. As long as Google is around I wont have to be shackled to any of the ridiculous U.S. mobile carriers. I can just use whatever device Im testing at any given time as my main phone. And I wont have to ask people to call me at my home VoIP line when Im here just because my iPhone doesnt work at all at my house. Instead I can just switch my inbound calls to Vonage. Callers wont know the difference.
    Why would someone cancel a cell phone to port their number with GV. At that point what are you going to use to make calls when you are away from your land line or a data connection to use VoIP? I don't know too many people that get to test out various mobile devices 24/7/365 other than some bloggers and tech journalists. Unless there was a line in the article somewhere that I missed which talked about how Google is deploying a new mobile network too.

    I understand that you don't like GV, you don't have to. But this crusade you have against it is a little baffling. There are other options out there for telephony and people, including you, are free to choose the best one for them. You could even build your own "One Number" service with a few hundred dollars and some technical know how (its not rocket science). The "One Number..." marketing slogan that Google (Grandcentral?) made up isn't some kind of law. Actually it only applies to the aspect of giving your number out to others. For the GV subscriber, they still need to use at least one other number to route calls through which brings the bare minimum to two phone numbers.

    And as for the Rube Goldberg method of dialing out, I personally know hundreds of people who use this same method of making calls on a regular basis. Whenever they call overseas they use a calling card for which they have to buy a card and scratch open the PIN. Then to make a call dial a number, enter the PIN and finally dial the destination phone number. I even know a few people who do this every single day for months or even years at a time. They could just dial straight out from what ever phone they are using, but to save a few bucks they choose "a Rube Goldberg solution".

    Theres no reason to believe that GV will succeed or fail at this point. In todays business climate can anyone be certain that any public company isn't using shady business practices like Enron and won't crumble to the ground all of a sudden? The general public has no idea. Just because other companies failed at a similar services doesn't mean that Google will. There are new technologies today that they didn't have before and different business models that might just work out.

    Personally, I'm pretty skeptical about it working out in the long run, but its a pretty good idea that should work out for quite a few people. As long as its useful to me, I'm pulling for it, and once its not, I'll probably be indifferent to it. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take a shower. I feel icky from defending a corporation. This must be what it feels like to be a lawyer, UGH. Damn my conscience, I coulda been rich...
    07-09-09 07:22 AM
  3. pkcable's Avatar
    07-09-09 07:59 AM
  4. berryite's Avatar
    Wow berryite, you seem to have some sort of vendetta against GV.
    Mr. Webster's definition on "vendetta" ...

    "blood feud, an often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or exchange of such acts"

    Vendetta? That's just silly.

    A vendetta that seems to turn a blind eye to basic logic and this article seems to keep that same view. Why would someone cancel a cell phone to port their number with GV.
    You're missing the point. The point of the article is not about what the author might or might not do with his own telecom situation (which was just an aside anyway). The point of the article was that one-number service providers routinely fail because there is a fatal flaw in the concept ...

    "... theres the additional problem of your outbound calls and outbound text messages showing the phone number of the device you are calling from instead of your Google Voice number. Your friends need to store that number or they wont know whos calling. And once its stored, theyll use it, bypassing all the great voicemail and call routing features of Google Voice. But Google has a plan to deal with all of these issues, weve heard. And it starts with Number Portability."

    Google has a plan to address this fatal flaw which has killed all those who went before Google with this idea. Ergo, Google has a strategy not to fail.

    I understand that you don't like GV ... but this crusade you have against it is a little baffling.
    Your "understanding" is incorrect. GV is a piece of technology. I'm dispassionate about the technology. 3C was extremely rude and the namecalling and overheated reactions to anyone pointing out the history of failure with this idea seemed something that could not be tolerated by 3C. This was odd. In that there seemed to be a campaign ... or a crusade to use your words ... to paint all of this GV as the be-all, end all of the future of technology, I thought it wise to put things into perspective.

    And as for the Rube Goldberg method of dialing out, I personally know hundreds of people who use this same method of making calls on a regular basis.
    Again, you miss the point. GV or any other one-number solution will not succeed in the marketplace if only a handful of people adopt some Rube Goldberg process to use it. The process must be transparent and must make people's lives EASIER, not more complex. Any idea, good or bad, will always attract followers. You are fascinated by the GV idea so you are willing to Rube Goldberg it to use it. Most people won't. And unless you make the system workable to the general population, it will fail. By adopting the number portability strategy, Google has a plan to ensure GV doesn't fail in the marketplace as have others who have come to market without a strategy to make their product implementation truly seamless.

    They could just dial straight out from what ever phone they are using, but to save a few bucks they choose "a Rube Goldberg solution".
    Again, a handful of people will always do things like this. The general population will not. The success of GV or any other similar launch is always based on mass acceptance, not some niche band of groupies. GV cannot survive unless it has a large following.
    07-09-09 11:59 AM
  5. jamestbrewer's Avatar
    GV is in beta, ease of use can come when it is released from beta. Google already has a mobile phone platform on the market which it can fully integrate GV into. There shouldn't be too much trouble to integrate it pretty well into Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Symbian. The recently announced Chrome OS can also have it fully integrated as well as many other Google properties.

    Who's to say that GV needs mass acceptance by the general population to be successful? Does it needs to be as popular as the cell phone to be successful? How about as popular as Playstation 2, or just as popular as the Blackberry? What if Google believes that it needs to sustain only 5 million active GV users in the US to be successful? What demo does it need to attract to be successful? GV might tank with Baby Boomers and older, but be hugely popular with Gen Y and Z.

    I don't think I missed the point. The article started out just fine introducing GV, addressing its limitations, downfalls and discussing the announcement of porting, but it just falls apart with that last paragraph. It seems like the author had bone to pick with the something and just couldn't find the right words to express it because that story just doesn't make any sense. Maybe its just a stupid story written in a shock blog way because the author knows that most of his readers wont be able to test it out yet due to its limited availability. I don't know.

    Google is a public company, ultimately the only thing that measures success is profitability as a division and to the company as a whole.
    07-09-09 02:17 PM
  6. berryite's Avatar
    Who's to say that GV needs mass acceptance by the general population to be successful?
    315 million shareholders of Google stock.

    What if Google believes that it needs to sustain only 5 million active GV users in the US to be successful?
    As long as their 315 million shareholders agree, no problem.

    I don't think I missed the point. The article started out just fine introducing GV, addressing its limitations, downfalls and discussing the announcement of porting, but it just falls apart with that last paragraph.
    Because the author expresses a preference for home-based VoIP over cell phone carriers the whole article is mush? Nah, that's just a faulty assessment of the article.

    Maybe its just a stupid story written in a shock blog way
    What is it with you and that 3C guy that anyone who doesn't walk 100% in lockstep and agree with you is "stupid." Calling people your don't agree with bad names just loses you points.

    Google is a public company, ultimately the only thing that measures success is profitability as a division and to the company as a whole.
    Agree 100%. Those 315 million shareholders are gonna have their say.
    07-09-09 06:44 PM
  7. jamestbrewer's Avatar
    Read. I didn't say the whole article was stupid or faulty. Nor did I state that the author was stupid. Only that the last paragraph seems like a desperate attempt at making a point, but without the necessary logic. The rest is fine, including the criticisms. He had a cell phone which he can cancel. The same cell that doesnt work in his house. So he must have used it outside of the house. If he cancels it for GV then what was the point of the cell in the first place because without the cell he wont be able to use it outside of the house. If he used GV then he would know that. He "can just use whatever device Im testing at any given time...", I guess that translates to "I always carry my personal cell and at least one additional cell phone, so with GV I can just cancel my personal cell." But you know what, I can concede to possibly misjudging the article. Its an editorial and maybe I didn't fully grasp what the author was trying to express.

    Secondly, where is it that Googles shareholders have said that it needs to be mass accepted in order to succeed? They might want it to be mass accepted, but only need smaller number of users to deem it a success. You say that the shareholders need it to be mass accepted, then say maybe if they agree to 5 million users it would be okay, followed by maybe its okay if they agree its profitable. Where is the metric for being mass accepted? Do 5 million active users meet the criteria? 50, 100? The US population is estimated to be over 306 million people and of that just fewer than 90% are estimated to have cell phones. So something like 270 million people have cell phones. That is mass acceptance. The shareholders only need it to be profitable, not accepted on any specific scale unless they state a specific goal in order for the project to be considered a success. In order to be approved by the shareholders, Googles job is to make sure that their business model meets the requirement of profitability. If they cant do that they need to restructure or cut the program. also, an interesting note, the founders and CEO of Google control about 68% of the voting power, the 315 million shareholders really boil down to just 3 guys. The rest of the shareholders can say whatever they want, its really all up to Sergey, Eric and Larry.

    And, I know Im cross threading here, but just because another company couldnt get a similar project off the ground doesnt mean that nobody else ever will. My experience with Cisco over the years has taught me a few things. In most cases they have excellent hardware, excellent engineers and excellent support. They also do nothing like Google. Even if your mystery project at Cisco did exist, lets hypothesize what they might have done based on some of their other products. They probably tried to design the hardware to run it, then design the software to run on it, designed phones to run it with and then probably thought theyd sell it as a package along with "service partners" to big companies at an extremely high price and market it with a massive ROI. On telephony costs. Over the next 15 years. Now lets see how Google would do that. Probably look at some existing software (asterisk?), customize it, design hardware to run it and then offer it for free to end users. Somewhere towards the end of a 2 year long beta they would announce a pro beta version and sell that to companies (small and large, per seat, starting at 1) and market it as it will save them money starting tomorrow. Perhaps release an API. A few years later maybe make a Google voice appliance and sell that to large companies for a relatively good price. Yeah, I see how that could be the same.

    Open your eyes and your mind. Mine are open to the fact that it might not succeed. Actually, if they were to continue the current setup without any changes I would bank on it failing. Google is not infallible, there have been many failed projects. I look at what they have done in the past and some of the things they have announced for the future. Look at all their projects and how they could relate to GV; gtalk, adsense, Chrome OS, an eventual full Google OS, wave, their attempts at getting access to the 700mhz and white space spectrums, smartphone integration, their own version of a smartphone OS, etc. Maybe Google will buy out Zer01. Who knows
    07-09-09 09:21 PM
  8. berryite's Avatar
    Even if your mystery project at Cisco did exist, lets hypothesize ...
    Snip.

    200 Cisco employees put out of jobs and a $170 million dollar write off are hardly a "mystery" enterprise. And if you can't and don't and won't follow tech business trends, I cannot help you.

    Have a nice day Mr. Brewer. I'm rather done with you and Mr. 3C and your arrogance and insults.
    Last edited by berryite; 07-10-09 at 01:37 AM.
    07-10-09 01:28 AM
  9. jamestbrewer's Avatar
    It's too bad that you take logic and reason as arrogance and insults. Perhaps you should consult with mr webster again as you seem to have forgotten the meaning of those words. Yes, it's true, I don't keep up with every tech project ever created. Does that mean that I don't keep up with tech trends? Does that even have anything to do with the discussion?

    You don't have anything intelligent to respond with to a logical view of the topic and since its not in lockstep with your view you dismiss me as being beyond your help. Maybe I hit a nerve with the way I talked about the cisco project, and if so I offer an apology. But I stand by my statements including the observations of the differences between the way cisco and google operate.

    So I leave it up to you, respond or don't. I welcome a healthy, well thought out discussion. But I ask that you read and comprehend what is written then respond with facts and opinions based on facts.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-11-09 06:42 AM
  10. berryite's Avatar
    It's too bad that you take logic and reason as arrogance and insults.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but being devoid of knowledge is not "logic and reasoning."

    I'll give you credit Mr. Brewer for a "unique" talent at writing very lengthy posts, but "logic and reasoning" aren't sold by the pound.

    The topic of the thread deals with the viability of one-number service providers. One of the most dynamic companies in the Silicon Valley tried and failed miserably at the idea. It cost 200 people their jobs and a writeoff of $170 million dollars. You have no idea why. Yet you arrogantly speak down to me of "mysteries" that you suggest I have somehow made up.

    This exchange has become a waste of time. You've come to the thread insufficiently prepared in research to contribute productively and attempt to substitute insults for constructive debate. In that this is so, my participation with you is at end Mr. Brewer.

    If indeed you have any serious interest in this topic as you claim, your next step is to research why Cisco failed and what their conclusions were as to the lack of viability of one-number services. Anything else you return with here is simply more positioning for unproductive argument.

    As earlier stated, good day Mr. Brewer. I see no more productive use in continuing my time in this thread
    Last edited by berryite; 07-11-09 at 01:29 PM.
    07-11-09 01:24 PM
  11. waterfrontmgmt's Avatar
    mods...can you not ban this guy? he seems to think people care about his opinion and doesn't seem to understand that gv is not just about having one number.

    i have never seen one person make so many enemies so quickly.
    07-28-09 02:13 PM
  12. Willie2Short's Avatar
    Did you pull the battery?
    07-28-09 02:56 PM
  13. spangler07's Avatar
    Did you pull the battery?
    EPIC WIN!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-28-09 04:22 PM
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