BLOG STARTUPS, VENTURE AND THE TECH BUSINESS

December 6 2011
by Scott Johnson

iMessage Goodbye SMS?

I love anything that takes undeserved and absurd profit away from telecom companies.  This is because of the “WTF Gap”.  In case this gap is new to you, which it probably is since I just invented the name, the WTF gap is the large difference between what your telco advertised you were going to pay them every month, and what it says on your bill you owe them every month.  The big banks are just as loathsome with their surprise fees, but at least they have competition and are digging their own graves instead of gouging my wallet.

So, naturally, I love iMessage.  It lets me avoid rapacious SMS charges with no behavior change and no reduction in service.  I was merrily texting one day with a fellow iPhone user and noticed that we were exchanging iMessages instead of sms messages.  I LOVE this.  Apple, by default, bypasses sms, which I only need (and wish to pay for) in emergencies when I have no IP connection.

We have a company that has achieved this interface nirvana called Invincea.  It is a perfectly secure browser that rightly assumes anti-virus software will never actually work.  The Invincea browser runs itself inside a virtual machine, and destroys that machine after each browsing session.  You would never know you are running on a VM.  But all the viruses and bots that have slipped onto your machine as you browse will know they were on a VM when they are first defanged, then incinerated.

But such great user experiences are too rare.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear “installation is a snap, and the interface is intuitive” only to discover the opposite is true.  I bring up interface issues at board meetings.  They sound like petty things.  But they are not!  For many companies, the interface is the company.  Their customers experience nothing else.  Kayak understood this, invested heavily in UI, and they rule travel metasearch.  I implore everyone to pay attention to the back end, but obsess over the interface.  Make it effortless, and if your product really adds value, adoption will follow.

COMMENTS

December 8 2011
by Alex Murphy

I love the WTF Gap. I will use and reference it often!

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