When you've been doing this for long enough, your bar for what is simple, good, surprising and disruptive. I've seen a lot of ideas by this point in my career.
Then I read David Pogue's personal technology article yesterday (after being pointed to it by my colleague Sarah L) and simply said "Whoa." I hadn't finished reading it before I started sharing it. Here's an excerpt:
So you have a second line on your iPhone. But that’s not the best part.
Line2 also turns the iPhone into a dual-mode phone. That is, it can make and receive calls either using either the AT&T airwaves as usual, or — now this is the best part — over the Internet. Any time you’re in a wireless hot spot, Line2 places its calls over Wi-Fi instead of AT&T’s network.
That’s a game-changer. Where, after all, is cellphone reception generally the worst? Right — indoors. In your house or your office building, precisely where you have Wi-Fi. Line2 in Wi-Fi means rock-solid, confident reception indoors.
Line2 also runs on the iPod Touch. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, your Touch is now a full-blown cellphone, and you don’t owe AT&T a penny.
It's a big, big deal. It could fundamentally change: the customer experience, the competitive dynamics within a few industries and the margin model within those industries.
Why is it on the iPhone? Who knows, but it were me it would be because: it's not Google and it isn't a carrier. Dumb pipes.
But wait - maybe not. Time Warner Cable announced yesterday free WiFi in New York City for Cable subscribers.