Chris Kranky

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Spinvox – Gigaom is right

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

Update: The Wall Street Journal, quoting sources at British Telecom, reported that SpinVox is basically using humans to listen to your voicemail and transcribe this. If

Back in April 2007 (original posting), I was down at CTIA and met this arrogant prick executive from SpinVox. They were going to conquer the world transcribing voicemail messages to text. Spinvox had given me a free account and sure enough, it worked quite well.

But I dug a bit deeper and found out they were transcribing my voicemail by having a human listen to it and type it in. They sent my voicemail messages to whatever on the earth they could find cheap human beings. Hey – I was cool with that, didn't matter to me so long as it worked, a low cost receptionist I thought, though tougher to wring costs out of it.

The prick executive was explaining how they hoped this transcription service could also be transformed into a "record of communications" for large corporations. When I asked how an CEO from a public FORTUNE 500 company might feel about some Jamaican being the first person to hear a voicemail to his CFO about their quarterly results, well let's just say the Spinvox executive got a bit muffed up. When I confronted them with how the transcription actually worked and their bogus patent, well, let's just say it was much shorter meeting than I'd planned.

Gigaom is reporting effectively that today as Spinvox is in a spin after all of the things I knew over 2 years ago are now becoming more public. If things aren't what they seem they should be, investigate.

One financial fund manager gave me the best advice about CEOs. Three basic rules. Remember, they lie, they lie and the last and most important one, they lie.