Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Here We Go Again!

Many years ago, instant messaging was all the rage. More than a dozen companies sprang to life all promoting their method and their “standard” as the next big thing. Even the really big players decided to try their luck in this new game that was going to take a large bite out of the e-mail market and make ICQ a dinosaur.

Anyone old enough to remember what happened knows that instant messaging is still in its infancy and has no hope of ever becoming the ubiquitous communication utility so many preached it would become. Seems that when everyone has a “standard” to push, no one can possibly win.

Imagine what would have happened were it not for an agreement on the formatting of SMTP messages. Today, e-mail systems can interact seamlessly for the same reasons that phone systems can interact; there was an agreement, (OK, several agreements), that set the stage for interconnecting all the various phone system standard each country decided to adopt. The result is a seamless ability to dial anyone from anywhere. E-mail can go to anyone regardless of the e-mail client of the sender and the receiver because of similar agreements.

And what of instant messaging. Well, it seems that no one was willing to give in order to get. Even the biggest players like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft tried to force the market to go their way and failed. Too many products fighting to become the standard and too many people wanting to be the controlling party.

A new wave of “ubiquitous communication tool” is now in the throes of the market model that killed instant messaging. This new wave is group text messaging.
Group text messaging; the ability to send text messages (SMS) to many people and their ability to reply to every original recipient. Today, every mobile telephony device available provides a simple form of SMS. Today’s SMS allows the recipient to only see the sender – no other recipients are available.

To solve this problem, at least 2 dozen companies have taken to the web to offer a solution. Yes, even the big boys like Google, Microsoft and Facebook are trying to take command of the market. Like the instant message of old, every offering from all these companies is incompatible with all the other offerings. That is, except 1.

Smashtalk® is the only form of group text messaging that is a plug-in replacement for the SMS engine in every telephony device available today. Smashtalk is the only group text messaging technology that does not require a change of consumer behavior to utilize. Smashtalk is the only solution to the group text chat problem that does not require participants to register lists of friends via special web sites.

History has a way of repeating itself. Sadly, too often the lessons of the past are considered too ancient to apply to today’s “high tech” innovations. “The world is different now.” “It’s not the same now as it was then.” Yes, heard that a lot. Heard it from myself when I was young and now I hear me telling young kids that history has lessons they ought to learn.
The world is run on economic decisions. Instant messaging could not advance partly because there was no base of established users on which to build and thus, there was no historical basis for cooperation. The economics did not make sense for businesses or consumers to adopt any 1 system because no system had sufficient reach.

The group text messaging market is at this critical inflection point today! Those of us who have been around can probably name another dozen technologies that went through the same inflection point. 802.11n made it but not before it had to be changed in order to level the playing field. Anyone remember G-Net or Omninet?

Success is more likely to occur from evolution than from innovation. Even Facebook has as its roots the broad audience that once surfed CompuServe forums sharing ideas and software with friends all over the globe.

The opportunity to create success in the group text messaging market is now. The solution is evolution that retains the broadest possible support to those standards that have come before. That solution is Smashtalk.