Maybe it’s just me. But ever since Vonage’s stock price plummeted from the get-go of their IPO, I’ve been thinking about why and how they could bring it back.
It’s not that it’s a bad business. It’s great. They’re cheap, and they’re taking on businesses that I really couldn’t care less to support because frankly, I hate being ripped off as a consumer. And Vonage provided me with a service that I didn’t feel like I was being ripped off in.
But with their stock price teetering around two dollars, you have to wonder what shareholders are thinking and how they could change it up. And I know that it’s difficult with the two lawsuits that cleaned Vonage’s clocks, but features is where their market is at. And that’s how they should approach their entire business.
You see, depending on the type of business you’re in, there are some methods and strategies that just work better than others because of the niche. For a service type business like Vonage, they have to provide a feature rich environment at low cost, that would not raise their overhead. That is where software innovation is so incredibly useful.
And it’s where Skype could come in. Why? Skype has two things Vonage doesn’t have. One, they have hardware manufacturers jumping at their software product. That’s pretty useful in the long run for this one thought I’ve been toying with but bear with me a bit before I get into that. Skype also has an incredible user base and their video and soft lines could be not only a great gimmick, but they could help each other out on the rates for international calling (ever compare Vonage out with SkypeOut?). But I tell you where Vonage could really strike fear.
Sound stupid? Ahh, but is it? The immediately younger generation is caught up in text messaging. Amazingly so that you can’t even begin to wonder how fast people can type on a numbered keypad until you’ve seen it done. I’m not so shabby myself, in fact. In any case, it’s become the instant messenger that keeps you on the move. Via mobility. But the one terrible thing about text messaging is that your mobile has a finite source of power before needing recharge. So why couldn’t you transfer your text messaging to your home phone? Why can’t you text message from you home phone in the first place? There’s nothing stopping anyone from doing it except the limitations of hardware, and Skype already has the manufacturers developing all sorts of things for them. Skype even already has SMS implemented for their product.
And for Vonage, they get to combat their competitors with something that would be just out of this world. Used by the younger generations, and even jump starting the older gens.
If you ask me, this is one single useful feature that really could put a dent in the armor of the giants. Irregardless, Vonage really needs to built out their feature repertoire. If they can allow users the option to many tools such as landline to mobile type integration, then this could be the beginnings of a brand new Vonage.