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Michael Gracie

Where Vonage’s trouble came from

vonage.gifVonage’s troubles keep getting worse, but why?

Questionable business plan – everyone has one of those. It wouldn’t be a plan if everyone wasn’t questioning it, hoping to get their money in at a discount. It is really all about execution, and you have to give the guys credit for getting all those little boxes plugged into those cable modems, and actually working.

Then there was the IPO – first touted, then despised by institutions, followed by a grassroots effort (a little stinky). Give ’em credit again for getting ingenuitive when adversity was staring them in the face.

Now, earnings are faltering – the incumbents are running at the space with reckless abandon, and those established telcos have the sales infrastructure to make it happen much more cost effectively than the upstart.

This doesn’t add up for me. Scrappy startup makes waves with end-around technology. Incumbents scream bloody murder about net neutrality, barely mentioning step-brother VoIP, instead targeting the likes of Google (which actually do pay for bandwidth at their end). Lobbyists rally on behalf of incumbents. Startup gets pummeled.

What’s wrong with this picture? The timing is just too good.

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