Ray Ozzie is back, baby. His new startup, Talko aims to get us talking on the phone again -- but not on phone calls.
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Christopher Mims keeps happy-talking:
Perhaps nothing is more important than the means by which team members communicate with one another. [It's] not merely enabled but in some sense determined by the technology that carries them [and] are an important competitive advantage.
Talko [is] a unique, though not wholly original, combination of text messaging, phone calls, voice mails, and video and picture messaging [with] an unusual pedigree: One of its founders is Ray Ozzie, who old IT hands will remember as the inventor of Lotus Notes.
Imagine a messaging app that also allows you to leave voice memos for others, and...lets them immediately jump on a call with you, as well as everyone else who is part of the group. [It] archives everything, and it allows you to add hashtags to conversations (even tagging specific points in time). MORE
And Ryan Lawler talks about things he'd like to do:
After two and a half years, former Microsoft chief architect Ray Ozzie and his team are finally ready to reveal what they’ve been working on. [Talko] is designed to change the way consumers and enterprises collaborate with each other...taking the decidedly retro approach of bringing back voice communications.
Talko is aimed at the enterprise market, but it follows the trend toward consumerization of apps that people end up using for work. ... It’s targeting a bottom-up approach to user acquisition — that is, it’s hoping to get a few users hooked, who will invite their coworkers. [It] will be free to use, but users will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access any calls or data that was recorded a certain number of days earlier.
Talko was founded by Ozzie, who is joined by some folks he worked with while at Microsoft and before that Groove Networks (which was bought by Microsoft in 2005). MORE
Yes, Ray Ozzie's got to have a dream:
It’s something that I’ve dreamt about for years now – revolutionizing the voice experience. ... The tools we use to communicate shape...culture, society and business: how we innovate, how we solve problems, how we organize and how we act.
A tipping point is upon us. The phone, not the PC, is at the center of how we now communicate. ... Email is less-and-less our go-to tool (even at work)...but our overreliance on [brief text messages] will severely limit how we’re able to meaningfully connect with those we need and those we love.
I passionately believe that there’s immense latent potential in voice – to convey tone and emotion...and to get things done. ... Amazing things can happen when we just choose to talk [but] the phone call truly deserves to die. ... In early 2012 we got the band back together again, intending to revolutionize the call. ... I simply couldn’t be more excited. MORE
But, asks Barb Darrow, how you gonna have a dream come true?
Ray Ozzie, the software wiz behind Lotus Notes, Groove Networks, and the former Chief Software Architect who drove Microsoft’s cloud strategy, likes to take on big problems.
Users can communicate...via voice, video, or text over Wi-Fi or cell networks; whichever connection is available and optimal. Talko negotiates the handoff. ... But the part I really like is there’s a push-to-talk capability so if your people are online you can...talk immediately but if they are otherwise occupied they can ignore [you] and listen...later. [It's] a great feature. Talko’s media server...is based on FreeSwitch, an open-source multiprotocol switch. MORE
Meanwhile, sarusa talks about a moon floating in the sky, looking like a lily on a lake:
Sadly, this is not going to kill the conference call. Too many of the people I am in hellish conference calls with would be incapable of figuring this out (they can’t even manage a mute button). MORE
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