Multiple Interfaces

Most technologies I use have a single interface to them. That’s largely the way things are developed. But one of the things that is happening on the web is that services are developing multiple interfaces.

And I like having multiple interfaces to a service. I like being able to use Outlook, and Entourage, and webmail, and blackberry to manage my mail. Each interface allows me to do certain things better.

This is also true with Twitter. I access Twitter via sms, mobile web, and Tinytwitter on my phone, via the web, Twitterific, Snaz, and Snitter on my desktop. Each interface is better for certain things. None would get the entire job done by itself.

I use a voicemail transcription service called Simulscribe. It takes all the voice mails I get on my cellphone, office phone, and home phone, transcribes them, and sends them to me via email. Recently they offered a mobile app that I use on my Blackberry. And they are working on a desktop app and an outlook plugin. I think they should open the api and let a thousand clients bloom.

Because having multiple interfaces into a single service is a great thing.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. keith_erskine

    In our case, we need multiple paths to the service to increase reach. Kids love using SMS, while their parents are more comfortable with email. Using both paths makes sure everyone gets important updates.

  2. dpnova

    Apparently this is one of the many and ill-defined parts of Web 3.0 . I personally like the idea, as much as I loath the principle around AIR and particularly Silverlight, the ebay AIR app was a perfect example of making a good new interface available.I wonder when we’ll see mashable desktop apps? I guess in reality it’ll be a combination of AIR/Flash/Silverlight/AJAX etc

  3. nick davis

    Agreed. What is the downside of letting dozens, or hundreds of bright developers write apps for your service for free? I love Simulscribe but the Blackberry app is bugg on my Pearl (it chokes on many network errors and stops getting my vmails, sometimes requiring a phone reboot). But I still love the service.

  4. Kyle S

    Fred – do you worry at all about discoverability of transcribed voicemails? I don’t know how litigious the VC business was, but at the consulting firms I have worked and work for, we are always encouraged to delete old emails in the regular course of business so they aren’t discoverable. If I’m a minority shareholder in some deal that Flatiron/Union Square is a part of and am really pissed off about something, I’d subpoena your transcribed voicemails (which the senders may have left without ever imagining they’d see their words on a graphic in a court room). Is that not something you worry about?

  5. anon

    nothing said here ………moving along