The Fatal Flaw of GrandCentral (just acquired by Google)

By Sean Fenlon on July 5, 2007 (acquired by Google for reportedly $50M)

I’ll go on record and emphatically agree that GrandCentral is a brilliant idea, long-overdue, and is extremely-likely to surprass all expectations.

If there is any issue worth addressing, it is that of Caller-ID (vis-a-vis OUTBOUND calls) as opposed to the INBOUND calls the service in its current form supports so well.

Just think about it for a moment…

This is a consumer (to consumer) offering, but a single inbound number is most appealling for advertising purposes.

Advertising is either Outbound (push) or Inbound (pull).

Caller-ID is a huge advertising channel for C2C.

While GrandCentral is great, I will never be able to take full advantage of the service until Caller-ID numbers are editable via the consumer from any/every outbound number (perhaps the moral equivalent of a “alt” tag in HTML).

Probably the most relevant item to consider about the GrandCentral acquisition is Google’s continued interest in LIVE “voice” traffic, as opposed to just “Internet” traffic.

DoublePositive knows quite a bit about both “voice” and “Internet” traffic.


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