From the monthly archives: July 2007

Jason Bigue, FonCloud’s co-founder, plays lead guitar in a rock band called “The Mellow Revs“. They played an awesome live set last night at The Reverb, a legendary Toronto venue. Here’s one of their original songs called “Grace of your Garden”…

Jason playing guitar

 

Some of the big office towers in downtown Toronto have those video screens that play ads in the elevators. I generally resent ads in public spaces — especially any ad with sound — since I find them intrusive. But today, the intrusion actually came in handy.

 

There was a news crawl across the bottom and I caught the headline that GrandCentral had been bought by Google. I happened to be on my way to do a pitch, which made this news very relevant. It’s always good when you can point to recent acquisitions of start-ups in your space. Especially if the buyer is the big G.

 

I have a GrandCentral account, but don’t use it regularly. That’s mainly because they don’t offer DIDs with any Toronto area codes. (By the way, I run into that problem a lot. I can understand that 416 numbers are scarce. But why is it so hard to find 905 numbers?)

 

I’ve heard some griping that there isn’t really much innovation in GrandCentral, i.e. all their features have appeared in other offerings before. Maybe so. But they still deserve credit for the packaging and marketing. I saw their presentation at O’Reilly’s ETel Conference in February and their slogans are excellent: “One number for life”, “Your phone number should be tied to you, not your phone company”, and my favorite: “Never take a call you want to miss. Never miss a call you want to take.”

 

(At our FōnCloud strategy meetings, we always set some time at the end to brainstorm on snazzy one-liners.)

 

Here’s a video of their pitch at the DEMO conference:

 

Mostly they deserve credit for getting Google to say yes. I imagine there is a non-stop parade of companies marching through the offices of Google’s M&A team.