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August 26, 2009


I'd say there's a pretty big difference between investing in a company where you hope to earn a financial return and picking a cute web site.

Fonolo is really cool, and getting covered in Time is really really cool, but it doesn't make you wrong.

I think Fonolo is a great timesaver for consumers and a boon for call-center operators. Congrats to Shai and Jason, both of whom are very smart guys. This will be their second success.

Good company? Perhaps.

A good service for business? Not so sure -- taking the personal touch out of a business, regardless of its recognition in a national mag -- is dangerous. No other way around it.

When people call a number, they're not calling to have a computerized voice tell them what to do. They're calling to talk to somebody. If you're not immediately delivering on that CTA catalyst, you're in trouble.

Ryan: Agree 100%. The goal of Fonolo is to connect the caller to the right agent with the least frustration for the caller and the least cost for the company. The dialpad on your phone was never intended to be a navigation or data-entry device. It got shoe-horned into that role and now we're locked in to a system that doesn't make use of the more intelligent terminals people are typically using - i.e. a smartphone or a browser. If we could all start from scratch, we'd come up with a much better system, but that's not going to happen because of the huge momentum behind traditional IVR and the need for backwards compatibility. So Fonolo bridges the gap by turning any existing IVR system into a gateway that can power smarter interfaces on the web or mobile device.

Rick: Thanks for the kind words. BTW, my last name is "Berger", with an "e". :-)

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