GrandCentral is People-Centric

Google’s most recent acquisition, GrandCentral, approaches phone numbers in the same way that Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook approaches social networking: with the person at the center of the service.

Instead of having a phone number tied to a cell plan such as Verizon or AT&T, or a specific technology like a land-line, GrandCentral ties the number to a person. You can have your number for life. Dial one number, all of your phones ring. Makes perfect sense, right?

What we need now is a URL for every person. Then we can reach them by simply specifying a communication type and a domain name…without worrying about numbers, protocols, email addresses, chat handles, or anything else. We should be able to say: “I want to talk on the phone with Joshua Porter(bokardo.com)”. Done…all of my phones ring.

Dialing specific-phone numbers will be like typing in IP addresses. Possible, but painful.

Google’s most recent acquisition, GrandCentral, approaches phone numbers in the same way that Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook approaches social networking: with the person at the center of the service.

Instead of having a phone number tied to a cell plan such as Verizon or AT&T, or a specific technology like a land-line, GrandCentral ties the number to a person. You can have your number for life. Dial one number, all of your phones ring. Makes perfect sense, right?

What we need now is a URL for every person. Then we can reach them by simply specifying a communication type and a domain name…without worrying about numbers, protocols, email addresses, chat handles, or anything else. We should be able to say: “I want to talk on the phone with Joshua Porter(bokardo.com)”. Done…all of my phones ring.

Dialing specific-phone numbers will be like typing in IP addresses. Possible, but painful.

Sometimes the most straight-forward way to do things isn’t obvious because of technical constraints. Some people laud those who can design within constraints. But the best designs bust through the right constraints, work only with the absolutely necessary ones, and provide people-centric services.

Published: July 3rd, 2007

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