Old VoIP Wine; New Web 2.0 Bottles

from the jajah-vu dept

We mentioned this back when the hype first came out about Jajah, but it's hard to see how they can claim this model is even remotely new or revolutionary. Dialpad (which went through a ton of business model changes before eventually being bought by Yahoo) had a service identical to Jajah's in the late 90s. Rather than a softphone based VoIP system, you simply type in your home or cell phone number and the number you want to call. The system calls you first, and then calls the other person. So, seeing the company promote it as something amazing and new seems a bit silly. Dialpad discovered that it was tough to make money with this model. At one point they only allowed calls to be one minute long -- and if you wanted longer, you had to watch the screen of your computer and keep clicking a button to stay connected on a minute-by-minute basis (and the website showed ads, of course). It's not clear how Jajah will make money, but as SiliconBeat notes, the site suggests that it may only allow free calls to last five minutes. Still, one of the problems that people have with the bubble mentality is that people don't seem to remember the past very well. There doesn't appear to be a single news article (so far...) that notes that this is an exact replica of a bubble-era business that went nowhere. It's tough to even improve on old failed business models if no one even remembers them.

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  1. identicon
    Drew Robertson, 27 Jun 2006 @ 1:39pm

    What's Different

    We recently implemented JahJah inside CallinSearch so we're a little biased but...JJ's bizmodel problem you mentioned is no different thanthat for any PC-based VoIP service like Skype, Estara, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, etc., etc. Vonage feels the pain as well as disintermediating PSTN carriers becomes a chump's game. Integrating voice (and chat) within ecommerce, advertising, social networks and search (hey that's us!) is the way to go. Stand-alone is not a long term strategy. And I don't think JJ wants to go there.

    Oh one more thing, Net2Phone sucked back in the 90s. They and everyone else have much better QoS today.

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