Is Vonage the New Google

Now hear me out. I realize the title of my article is baffling and your brain is already calculating all the different ways you will flame this piece with negative comments.
 
You may be thinking of all the differences between these two companies. For example: Google makes money and Vonage does not. Google can easily afford the lawsuits it is in. Google is not being threatened by Verizon to be shut down. I am sure there are a number of other comments you may be thinking as well like how it may be time for me to retire or rethink my career as a writer.
 
But before you get a chance to think seriously about any of the above, hear me out.
 
Vonage is absolutely everywhere. They get more press than virtually any company out there in technology. Just take a look at the sampling at the bottom of this page of the press they received from top sources regarding a CEO replacement and some layoffs. Last week there was a potential for the company to get shut down and I received calls from almost a dozen reporters for analysis on Vonage, the VoIP and IP communications space.
 
All this for a VoIP company? This is a PSTN replacement after all. Is the company worthy of just so much press.
 
The irony in all this is if you talk to many bloggers who follow the IP communications market they have little positive to say about internal Vonage PR.
 
Bearing this in mind the fact the company has become a media darling is absolutely amazing. Now by media darling I mean it in the Donald Trump sort of way which means there is no such thing as bad press. Sure many are writing about how the company is doomed and they don’t know what they are doing but in reality the more press they get the more free publicity they get.
 
If they can get beyond this patent mess – and many people believe the Verizon patents are too broad and really shouldn’t have been granted in the first place, then Vonage has a chance of growing even more quickly.
 
In the blogosphere I am one of the few who thinks this company has a future and a potentially bright one at that. So far I would have predicted the company would have a higher stock price but then again until today there hasn’t been a serious goal of generating profit.
 
We are talking after all about a company with about three million customers. That is $60/month in revenue at a minimum. This is no small sum. The company’s base just grows and grows. If nothing else Vonage is the undisputed VoIP marketing king.
 
The question is whether Citron and company will continue to focus the company on profit now… Cut the cost of customer acquisition and generate earnings. At three million customers they are a formidable force and the company has real value now.
 
Let’s see how they navigate through the sea of patent issues and if they can focus more on external damage control. The media just seems to love to write about this company… The question is whether the New Jersey based VoIP services leader will give them something positive to write about in the near future.
 
———–
 
Here is a brief sampling of the press Vonage has received over their recent restructuring courtesy of Google News:
 
Vonage Holdings chief executive steps down amid legal setbacks
San Diego Union Tribune, CA – 1 hour ago
By Bruce Meyerson. AP. NEW YORK – Vonage CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company reported weak preliminary first-quarter
 
Vonage chief executive steps down
Boston Globe, MA – 1 hour ago
By Bruce Meyerson, AP Technology Writer | April 12, 2007. NEW YORK –Vonage CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company
 
Vonage CEO Resigns, Company Outlines Cost Cuts
FOX News – 1 hour ago
Vonage CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company reported weak preliminary first-quarter results and announced a
 
Vonage Founder Citron Replaces Chief, Plans Job Cuts (Update5)
Bloomberg – 1 hour ago
By Amy Thomson. April 12 (Bloomberg) — Vonage Holdings Corp. founder Jeffrey Citron replaced Michael Snyder as chief executive officer after spiraling
 
Vonage’s Chief Executive Steps Down
New York Times, NY – 2 hours ago
By LAURIE J. FLYNN. The Vonage Holdings Corporation announced the resignation of its chief executive today and said that Jeffrey A. Citron, the company’s
 
Vonage Chief Executive Steps Down
Houston Chronicle, TX – 3 hours ago
By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Technology Writer. © 2007 AP. NEW YORK — Vonage CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company reported
 
Vonage Chief Executive Steps Down
Forbes, NY – 3 hours ago
By BRUCE MEYERSON 04.12.07, 12:31 PM ET. Vonage CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company reported weak preliminary
 
Vonage chief executive steps down
BusinessWeek – 3 hours ago
By BRUCE MEYERSON. Vonage CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company reported weak preliminary first-quarter results and
 
Vonage chief executive resigns amid legal setbacks
Houston Chronicle, TX – 4 hours ago
AP. HOLMDEL, NJ — Vonage Holdings Corp. CEO Michael Snyder resigned today as the troubled Internet phone company announced a restructuring plan that
 
Vonage chief executive steps down
BusinessWeek – 4 hours ago
Vonage Holdings Corp. CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company announced a restructuring plan that includes an
 
Vonage CEO steps down
Canada.com, Canada – 5 hours ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Internet phone company Vonage Holdings Corp. said on Thursday its chief executive stepped down and it plans to cut jobs and costs,
 
Vonage CEO resigns, cost-cutting moves planned
Macworld, CA – 5 hours ago
By Peter Sayer, IDG News Service. Vonage Holdings CEO Michael Snyder resigned, the company said Thursday, at the same time announcing moves to cut costs.
 
Vonage CEO steps down
Reuters – 6 hours ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Internet phone company Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday its chief executive stepped down and it
 
Vonage CEO steps down; cuts jobs and expenses
Reuters.uk, UK – 6 hours ago
NEW YORK, April 12 (Reuters) – Internet phone company Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday its chief executive stepped
 
Vonage’s CEO Snyder Steps Down
eWeek, MA – 6 hours ago
By Reuters. NEW YORK—Internet phone company Vonage Holdings Corp. said on Thursday that its Chief Executive Officer Michael Snyder stepped down and that it
 
Vonage Chief Executive Steps Down
Forbes, NY – 6 hours ago
AP 04.12.07, 9:30 AM ET. Vonage Holdings Corp. CEO Michael Snyder resigned Thursday as the troubled Internet phone company announced a restructuring plan

  • Rick Garcia
    April 12, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Rich,
    Great write up….I too believe Vonage has or could have a bright future. The patent mess aside, there is a sleuth of service offerings I believe they could launch to keep churning customers from pulling all revenue or add additional revenue.
    Example: Vonage spends $275 or so to sign a customer, the customer keeps the service for a projected amount of time, then disconnects for whatever reason. Instead of loosing all the revenue when a customer cancels, keep customers paying via other optional services.
    An offering like a unified communication platform that keeps the number, forwards to your cell phone and allows you to use the voicemail plus platform for voicemail to email etc. would be one idea.
    I’m not up to date on why Vonage customers cancel, but if a customer just decides 30 bucks is too much to spend on service because they just don’t use it much, maybe 12.95 for the voicemail and unified communication type of platform to your cell is more palatable.
    If you’re like me, you use your cell almost 100% of the time, but keep your home number around just because I’ve had the number so long. I was actually considering moving to a platform like GrandCentral so that I could just keep my home phone number and have it forwarded to my cell.
    Just one of my thoughts on how Vonage could keep customers paying for something before and after dialtone.
    Rick Garcia
    360networks
    206-999-6666

  • Aaron Moore
    June 11, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Quite a bit of the news lately is Vonage’s expansive efforts in Europe and Canada. Many people say the cable companies with bundled packages will hurt Vonage but they forget that Cable is primarily a North American enterprise. Over in Europe DSL is the rage and Cable is nowhere to be found. Vonage is making VoIP inroads there without any real competition.
    Vonage will be around even if they loose the lawsuit to Verizon and may become the Google of VoIP as you say. They may be an American company but there are other markets to consider. Look at cell phones – all the new ones are released in Europe before they ever hit the US – they embraced texting and all the add-ons long before the US did.

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