Vonage's silly business plan: more "woo-hoo" ads- but not enough of what would really help
I've had friends who, when they were losing an argument would attempt to recover the only way they knew how: by shouting louder and louder in an attempt to drown out those who were getting the better of them.That metaphor came to mind when I read about Vonage Chairman and chief strategist Jeff Citron's remarks yesterday at the Convergence 2.
I've had friends who, when they were losing an argument would attempt to recover the only way they knew how: by shouting louder and louder in an attempt to drown out those who were getting the better of them.
After his keynote, Citron told reporters that Vonage would spend $360 million to $380 million this year to boost its subscriber base.
"Our goal is to continue investing heavily in our brand and marketing to grow our subscriber base, which as our business scales out, allows us to ultimately derive profitability," he said.
Oh, I get it. Rather than concentrate on strategic triple-play ventures with independent cell carriers, cable systems and Wi-Fi providers that might enable Vonage to compete just a bit with the bundled ISP services-rather than building an IM client, well, it is pound North America constantly with invasive buys on unrelated Web sites and more "woo-hoo woo hoo hoo" ads on tv.
Well, it's Vonage's money so they can do what they want. No, wait. It's the shareholder's money, and the VC's vigorish.
Oh, and notice Jeff said "ultimately." Well ultimately, the sun will go nova. But we have five billion years until that happens. Somewhat longer than Vonage might become profitable.
To quote your ad tag line, Vonage, yes,people do stupid things. Sometimes companies do, as well.