in Innovation, Services

The Press And Communicating Innovation

20070827sms.jpgI was sitting on my deskchair reading a newspaper when I came across this news:

Davide e la rivoluzione degli sms da 1 cent

that may be translated in “Davide, and the 1 cent SMS revolution”.

The writer talks about the Skebby application and the impact it may have on the operator SMS market.

I was really interested by the subject and I had a quick look at the Skebby web site. Basically they offer the option to send and receive SMS using a Java application sitting on your handset leveraging some free SMS services on the web, or on the operators web sites.

You may also buy bulk SMS packages from them.

I finished reading the article trying to find where the revolution is. No clue.

I have been reading about bulk SMS packages from at least five years (probably more) and there is no revolution at all in this. Also, you can send SMS via the web from a very long time (I remember they were on my ISP offering since I was using a dial up connection) and application front ends to these kind of services were available too.

Moreover, I think that there are several limitations using these services:

  • Basically you will end up receiving SMSs from anonymous numbers.
  • Your data will transit from a server before being sent over the network. This basically means that your data is traveling on the net and we do not know anything about the architecture or security implemented on these systems.
  • We do not know which services this company is using to send their SMSs if you use one of their premium packages. They may be local or foreign companies. In the last case the delivery failure may be an issue. Well, actually from a technical standpoint there is no guarantee for SMS delivery.
  • Is the 1 cent the real cost? Probably yes in most cases (but I do not really believe it) this is true but you have to give a close look at your cost plan. Just to say one, if you have to pay a fee every time a data connection is opened it will not cost 1 cent.
  • I love Java, but you will always have to consider that every time you will fire a data connection your phone will ask for permission to do that (well, on most phones). In the long run this is really annoying and has a huge impact on usability.

So, is it really a revolution?

I think not, and the way the press is communicating this is really bad.

I perfectly understand that the average reader will not know anything about SMS pricing and the technology behind it. What I expect is that the journalist would perform basic research before stating that something is a revolution when, clearly, it is not. (At least according to my opinion).

Why do I blog this? One of the most important things about Innovation is how you communicate it and while you are talking about innovation you should understand what is Innovation and what is not.