[VoiceOps] SMS apps, providers, and peers

Alex Balashov abalashov at evaristesys.com
Tue Dec 8 12:17:51 EST 2009

Paul Timmins wrote:

> Is there an easy service where I can give someone my phone number and 
> have them send me a data based message? One that arrives right away?

If your argument is that SMS is the easiest thing to use for this 
purpose right *now*, this *very* minute, I would have to agree that SMS 
is it.

There are plenty of perfectly functional "send text messages for free!" 
type apps available for the iPhone, for example.  But it takes 3 or 4 
steps to use instead of just 1 or 2, and push notifications don't really 
work well.  The carriers work extensively to pressure handset vendors to 
make sure it stays this way as much as possible;  that is why it takes 
more steps than using SMS.  SMS makes the carriers 10x more money per 
character or byte.

My whole argument is based on the premise that this will change.  Any 
business model whose claim to superiority is rooted in collusion 
concerning certain user interface choices is not a strong or 
long-lasting one.  As soon as some handset vendor dares to come out with 
a phone that makes alternatives to SMS not suck, SMS is all but dead. 
I am arguing that this is inevitable, will happen soon, and for that 
reason investing in SMS-based services is a pointless waste of time.

In many cases, it's important to ignore actual-day "reality" and prepare 
for what's coming, not what's here.

Alex Balashov - Principal
Evariste Systems
Web     : http://www.evaristesys.com/
Tel     : (+1) (678) 954-0670
Direct  : (+1) (678) 954-0671

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