(Sponsor: Lok Technology)
The most overused phrase in VoIP: "disruptive technology." Variation: "classic disruptive technology."
The point is not whether VoIP is disruptive or not. It is. What's annoying is the way it's used as a mantra, a shortcut to explain why certain VoIP players are bound to succeed. Here it is in a short take (by way of Andy) from Red Herring on SBC swallowing up AT&T: “ 'VoIP is a very disruptive technology, which is probably one reason why this is happening,' Vonage CFO John Rego said of the proposed merger."
"Disruptive technology" is sometimes employed in a manner similar to how the word "Internet" was used to explain the appeal of all sorts of pre-bubble ventures that were made up of little more than notions, enthusiasm and VC money. The grain of truth in that thinking was that, yes, the Net was (and still is) transforming the nature of communications, commerce and even social reality; but that didn't make every Net venture viable. VoIP is disruptive and is changing the telecom landscape; that doesn't change the underlying business and innovation challenges for everyone who's competing in the space.
So it's disruptive technology. So what? So was the wheel. Let's see what you do with it.