March 01, 2005
the birth of ringtones
Nice to see our Finnish friend Vesku getting props in the New Yorker for developing the first custom ringtone service and pioneering an entire new industry. Thinking of this, I dug up this quote from our Vesku mPulse interview from awhile back:
It was a Thursday morning in March of 1998. March in Finland is terrible, very dark and windy and rainy. I woke up in the morning with a terrible hangover. My phone rang, and it was the standard Nokia ring. De-de-de-de. I thought, My God, I want to change that thing. Then I thought: I'm sure I'm not the only one on the planet who wants to change it. Then it turned out that the Nokia guys actually had the technology to do it. And so we started planning. What sort of service would this be? Who would be the composers? It was only then that I approached RadioLinja (Finland's leading telco) to ask if they wanted the service. It took me six months to convince them. The payback time was under two months. And then of course, the rest is history. Today, thirty percent of all SMS messages in Europe are requests for downloadable ring tones. Back in 1998, no one could have imagined anything like that.
I also have to blame Vesku for inviting me to my first ever business meeting held in a sauna, heh. I guess I can't pin the resulting salmiakki hangover on him though...Posted by Gene at March 1, 2005 05:34 PM | TrackBack