Engadget’s interview with Jeffrey Citron, chairman and CEO of Vonage gives an interesting peak into the world of the baby bells, through the eyes of an upstart. Citron dishes about the competition, stomping AT&T, working deals with the bells to make 911 services work, and a possible Palm version of their softphone.
Most interestingly is his notions about what their customers want and expect.
…more and more people are deciding that they don’t even want a land line in the house…?
That trend is very misunderstood. That isn’t a trend. [...] When you own your own house, you don’t want the plumber calling you to schedule an appointment when you’re in the middle of this interview right now. You want that call to go to your house and a message left on your voice mail.
But there’s no denying that an increasing number of people…?
Yes, but those habits will change. Young people today don’t do the things that married people do. They don’t do the things that homeowners do.
In shortening the quote I cut the part where Citron makes it clear that these folks aren’t giving up their cell phones, they’re using both. But it’s a good point, and an interesting counter to the standard message of “the world is changing and your teenager is leading the way.” The question, however, is whether this cycle is true for other social/tech issues. Will the research habits that a student develops today change later in life? Will they give up their iPods?