Back in April 2007 I posted short notice about a cool new thingie (that's a highly technical term, sorry) from a start-up called Jaxtr. At the time I had no idea what their business model might be, and as I was not considering investing in them was only mildly curious.
Now I come across this press release from Jaxtr, with this headline and summary:
Jaxtr Goes Out of Beta; Launches World's First Talk Network In Less Than a Year, Jaxtr User Base Already Tops 10 Million
Jaxtr (www.jaxtr.com), the social communications company that links your phone to the Web, successfully completed eleven months of beta testing today and released version 1.0 of its service. The centerpiece of the new release is café jaxtr, a place where users socialize around the question: "What do you want to talk about?" With this 1.0 release, the company is also implementing its revenue model via the integration of text and display advertising within café jaxtr.
Now, I added the emphasis on the last line there, but find it so interesting. Over a year into the company's existence, with "10 million users," they are only now "implementing [their] revenue model." And, that model is...drum roll please....advertising. Wow. What a radical new concept.
Also, take a step back at Jaxtr's claim of "free international calls." What they really mean is to a limited subset of countries, with you calling into a local number (anyone say calling card?) they will complete the call. Not exactly free.
But anyway, in their press release they give no statistics of actual usage, just "users." I remember in the late 90s at VON conferences Jeff Pulver used to challenge all the speakers coming from VoIP companies to say how many minutes were actually going over their networks, and what minutes were really origanting on the net. As one the frequent speakers at VON I loved that moment when we all would have to "open the kimono."
A year ago I liked the Jaxtr widget, for its creativity, but that was about it. I did not understand the company they were trying to build. Still don't. But glad to see they remember that the point of a business is to make money. I hope they do.