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Always on the Edge ~ Tomaž Štolfa of vox.io ~ SXSW 2012

1y ago
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If you are Skype user, fasten your seatbelt. Vox.io, pronounced /vōx-dōt-īō/ according to their website, is going to make those conversations look pretty old-fashioned. The service offers one-click conversations and a log of previous contacts (not that different), but they also let you put up content on the screen to share with your contact. This could be a map, photo or slideshow while you chat or talk. Additionally, they claim not to be voice over IP so there is nothing to install. You will connect via a link and not a phone number, and they offer phone calls at the local rate, so you can't nailed for roaming. Yes, roaming because they have already moved into the mobile space. In fact, their app is available for your iPhone through the Apple store. The Founder, Tomaž Štolfa of Slovenia, credits the swift rise of the company to his having more well-rounded skills as opposed to being very concentrated in one area. Creators of all products, including software, should "...know the whole story of what they are building," he says, "so far [software product creation] has been a domain of technology...now it is more and more a domain of artists and psychologists" getting their arms around a complete, elegant product design. "That's the interesting part of the journey," he concludes. Tomaz also admits he has been a roadblock in the company's progress, "I am stubborn and sometimes it takes awhile for me to start listening to people." But listen he does, and it has given him access to the greatest resource the company has -- you guessed it -- people. "You must create a deep connection with people," he counsels, "because once you have it [the company] can get so much out of them." Obviously, he knows how to build commitment. So what keeps him and the company on a fast track? "Every day I wake up a little bit afraid of what's going to happen." Realizing the ever-changing world of technology, he recognizes that no one can predict what is going to happen each day. "Every day is a new abyss," he sums up the situation.