Tom Keating is one of those VoIP bloggers who understands business and technology, and mixes journalistic doggedness with the backgrounding of an engineer.
I say this because Tom reports this morning that Worldgate Communications is experiencing a financial rough patch. A really bad one. Worldgate, not so incidentally, makes the Ojo VoIP/videophone. You are looking at one.
Anyone who has seen the device- and you are reading the words of one of those "anyone"s now- believes it is pretty cool.
But when it comes to the coin of the realms, sometimes cool just isn't enough.
The problem here, as To unearths via an 8-K filing, is that Worldgate has some accounts receivable problems with their largest customer.
Instant empathy, people. Almost any of us who have ever been in business can identify with that.
But the thing is, most of us aren't public companies nor file 8-Ks. And when you mention such cashflow problems in your 8-K, you have to think these are more serious than simply a couple of customer checks that haven't arrived yet.
So serious in fact, that Worldgate has wound down operations and has to be considered a likely bankruptcy filer.
That might very well happen unless Worldgate can collect what's due from this customer. Yet as a former bill collector- and one who sometimes still collects bills from clients who won't pay- I can tell you that revenues from collections is something you can never count on. The bills come regularly but the make-good checks far less dependably so.
Plus, you have to assume Worldgate has been trying to do this for some time now.
From there, who knows? Maybe Worldgate will get rescued and the Ojo will live. We'll be watching.