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Thursday, November 01, 2007

“You Can’t Cross a Chasm in Two Small Jumps”

"VoIP has been an incremental approach to communication. It HAS brilliantly succeeded in lowering the cost of telephony which has actually closed a chasm as far as many poor people who need to communicate are concerned. Cost reduction is a prime example of something that CAN be done incrementally and doesn’t require a perhaps suicidal leap.
But new paradigms (to use a pompous word) are leaps. They get there or they don’t."

Tom Evslin


You underestimate (or overestimate depending on the point of view) what goes under the name of "Internet Time".
We all believe that the Internet has brought more speed in our life.
It is true, a letter takes a few seconds to arrive to the other side of the Globe, but one thing is a computer and another is our way of thinking and behaving.
Does it take less to change a habit since the dawn of the Internet?
I do not think it takes less.
People have their own rhythm and that doesn't change dramatically.
If the average guy is used to dial to make a call, he will want to go on dialing.
"I do not care what's behind" and "I do not want to care", I just care that it works and that I can do it easily. The average guy doesn't like to change his habits, unless they bring something really new. (or something really cheaper)
VoIP means saving mostly in International calls.
But How many are the ones who do International calls?
VoIP also means in many cases lower quality, less availability, more concern, the need of a software, of a computer, of being at easy with installing and configuring, time to be lost, while isn't it much easier the old, nice, easy to dial phone?
And I do not know about USA, but in Italy, like in most countries, the DSL is not always available, not always efficient.
And if you need to make an International call, in that precise moment when the Internet is down, or the voice suddenly is so bad you do not understand anything, or you are not close to a computer or an Internet line?
Let me say so: it is not a matter of chasm, it is a matter of quality and efficiency.
Let's be honest, we have come a long way, but not long enough...
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