Check out The Web 2.0 Address Book May Have Arrived by Tim O’Reilly, passing along (with approving remarks) David Pogue’s pitch for GrandCentral; it gives you a single phone number that rings all your phones wherever you are. Says David: “Its motto, ‘One number for life,’ pretty much says it all.” Since I have a similar service through AccessLine courtesy of Sun, I can appreciate a resource like this. But there was something about the announcement that was bothering me.
What was bothering me was the company name, GrandCentral. Hold on a second, I thought, I know them; one of Halsey Minor’s startups. They do Enterprise Service Bus or Web Services aggregation or something like that. New business model? It turns out Tim has the story on that: “(Note: I was on the board of the company formerly known as Grand Central, which is connected to this one via its name and its primary investor, Halsey Minor, but I have no connection to the current company.)”
OK then, but the logical conclusion is that the motto, more accurately, should be “One number for life, as in the lifetime of this particular incarnation of this particular company.” Call me paranoid, but I get nervous sometimes about outsourcing my calendar to Google and my data backup to Amazon and my email to Yahoo and my pictures to Flickr and my bookmarks to Del.icio.us.
Out there in the cloud, your personal treasures should be better off, managed by professionals, we all know the mantra. And I even believe it, mostly; wrangling backups and data replication is a crappy use of my time, or really of anybody’s time who isn’t a full-time pro. I wish I could worry less.