In reading Jeff Pulver’sÂ Parent’sÂ Don’t UnderstandÂ (a grumpy post if I ever read one, Jeff!)and then Andy Abramson’s Being on the Inside, I was struck by an apparent disconnect that really just demands explanation.Â Toward the latter part of Andy’s piece, Andy writes:
What I question is how they plan to overcome the resistance of the carriers, both mobile and data, who seem to continually want to keep forward looking technology in the dark rooms and just make money based upon their roots of being 1.0 telcos first.
Andy suggests that the net neutrality debate has a bearing, or that the SJSU Skype flap is part of this mess, but I don’t get it.Â Isn’t the point of both Jajah and RebTel that they are working within the existing network and regulatory frameworks?Â Neither of these companies is a pure VoIP play which can be blocked through packet shaping, deep inspection, or some other means of degrading the network.Â Both are piggy-backing the existing regulatory framework, and the existing networks.Â It seems impossible, to me, to impact what they do without rewriting the regulatory framework (ie. in the US the 1996 telecom act) to prevent competition.
What have I missed?
Garrett “Father of the Smithies” Smith is peeved at the Pulver organization because he feels that traffic was down at the VON Expo this year, and probably a little miffed with me for indirectlyÂ suggestingÂ that his organization might have been unprepared for VON.Â
My apologies Garrett.Â I don’t know what you guys did to prepare, and it was improper of me to suggest that you didn’t.Â
Having said that, I will stand by my previous post, and observe that foot traffic on a show floor is one of the least predictable ways I know of to generate business.Â Personally, I spent less time on the exhibit floor this show than I ever have previously.Â It wasn’t forÂ lack of interest, but rather that my calendar was full of other activities.Â Unless you had set up an appointment in advance, it was unlikely you would see me at your booth.
Unless you do the pre-show mailings, stuff the bags, have great giveaways, and/or flashy talent driving people to your exhibit, it’s tough to know what’s going to happen.Â If you were at VON, you saw whatÂ AOL did toÂ drive traffic to their booth — all those t-shirts and pens were expensive, not to mention the press conferences, andÂ speaker sessions.Â Most companies can’t do that.Â Most have to rely on good old fashioned elbow grease, which is whyÂ a show like VON, in my opinion, is best regarded as a networking opportunity.Â Better to have the meetings lined up before you even get there, than try to make them at the show.