Re: shuts down, Idealab blamed

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From: Ian Andrew Bell (
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 13:35:47 PDT

At 12:52 PM -0700 10/26/00, Tom Whore wrote:
>Yes it appeals to the fashion mindset so did the mood ring.
>Pager net + visor/palm/ce addon + information stream = installed base +
>app base + open ended dev + guiablility
>modo pager=modo pager
>Another dongle for fashionable "geeks" to hang from faux pocketwatch
>chains and trool with from hipso smoke club to hipso kitch diner (munch of
>"gourment" mac and chese with a knowing hand gesture to modoize the sceen,
>oohs and ahhs wave across the crowd)
>555 tell+ cell phone= oops i did it again

Forgive me for saying so Tom, but I don't think you're appreciating
the push content model that Modo leverages here. I don't have to go
get information that's relevant to me as I'm wandering San Francisco
on a weekend evening... it's there waiting for me, neatly organized
for relevance so that I know where to find it. It's more Magazine
and less Web.

Clearly you're right in that it's a dongle for fashionable geeks.
But more than that, the GUI of the Modo is better than any Palm
device I've seen because it's custom-built around the application:
It's not a pager. It doesn't do anything besides offer
lifestyle-supporting editorial and ad content and so it doesn't have
all of the fluff of an environment like PalmOS, and when their
"application" is going out and having fun, they don't much care if it
can parse XML or play Tetris.

Your first alternative simply has barriers to entry that are too
high: expensive, technologically sophisticated, and requires a
long-term service provider relationship. Customers don't shop for
"open-ended dev".

Ever used TellMe or BeVocal? Clearly they rule in terms of
accessibility, however for usability I'd give 'em a big fat zero.
People hate IVR. They also hate having to listen to some robot voice
drone on endlessly until they finally get to the information they
want. The telephone is just about the most limiting UI created by
man -- it's great for calling someone whose phone number you know,
but beyond that it's simply NOT a preferential user interface (that's
why there had to be an ANSI standard for Voice Messaging).

MODO is awesome for the market it targeted. When the mobile handheld
device market matured and settled it would obviously be relatively
easy to port the content over to whatever standard(s) emerge.


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