One of the persistent stories making the rounds over the last couple of weeks has been the failure of Voice 2.0 startups. Fierce wireless characterized EQO’s staff cuts reported October 12 as “the latest of the Voice / Phone 2.0 facing imminent disaster”, while techvibes and GigaOm chose a similar tone.
This morning’s discussion was about the state of Voice 2.0, and some of the successes and failures in the space. The Voice 2.0 Manifesto described Voice 2.0 as being driven by directory, presence and a number of other characteristics. Today the simplest way to describe it as the intersection of the Web and voice, because in so many ways the web has the same characteristics as the Voice 2.0 model.
We discussed the cuts at EQO, briefly, and the failures of Jangl, TalkPlus. As Om Malik noted in his piece, the current economic climate doesn’t allow for free rides for startups without revenue any longer.
We also discuss Skype as a Voice 2.0 player. The suggestion was made that with Skype’s new Asterisk integration, it has become much more open than before.
Mashups, and mobile were topics of conversation as well including a discussion of BT’s acquisition of Ribbit.
Our conclusion? Voice 2.0 is alive and well. Companies without business models, however, are suffering, and not just in the Voice 2.0 arena.