VoiceGlo's Not Glowing Very Brightly

from the there-goes-that-plan dept

If you lived through the first internet bubble, a name you’ll surely recall is TheGlobe.com — a “community” site that never produced much of anything other than hype about its two young founders (some of which went straight to their heads) and which went public in 1998 with what was, at the time, the largest opening day pop seen in an IPO (coming off what was actually a slow period in IPOs). The company didn’t have much substance behind it and the whole show collapsed pretty quickly. A year after the company had pretty much gone out of business, it was being used to host an online magazine about computer games — when suddenly it was announced that the company had bought some “digital telephony assets” and had jumped into the suddenly hot VoIP arena. After recognizing that theGlobe.com name wasn’t doing them any favors, they built up the company as VoiceGlo with a product called GloPhone — which (at best) was a me too product with nothing much special about it. However, TheGlobe’s original founder, Stephan Paternot, learned quite a bit about embellishing and hype during the first bubble, and couldn’t resist doing the same for VoiceGlo, telling reporters they were first in the space when they were clearly late to the game. Last year the company was called out for putting out very misleading statements about their offering, trying to equate the number of downloads of their free software with actual users of competing products. Old hype dies hard, it seems. With Skype’s acquisition marking off the height of any VoIP bubble, it looks like the folks back at theGlobe have decided to try to get out while the getting is good. Om Malik points out that the company has hung out a “for sale” sign and hired a firm to help them sell themselves. Of course, when companies publicly announce those sorts of things, it generally means they’re desperate to sell out because they’re in trouble. Looks like, once again, TheGlobe was full of hype and little substance.

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