Mentorship with Alon Cohen

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Alon Cohen is an entrepreneur, inventor and is widely recognized as one of the creators of the Voice over IP industry. Cohen was the co-founder of VocalTec Communications (NASDAQ:VOCL), the first company to provide Internet voice technology worldwide, which in 1996 was one of the earliest successful Internet IPOs. Cohen joined Phone.com after founding and managing a successful series of recent business ventures. As an innovator Alon Cohen holds 5 US patents on different communications technologies, including the “Audio Transceiver” (US Patent 5,825,771) which is the basis for Voice over the Internet (VoIP) technology. Alon Cohen is the recipient of many awards and accolades for his innovative work including the “VoIP Visionary Award” (2005) from Pulvermedia. Cohen represented the State of Israel in the United Nations negotiations of the ITU Study Group 16 for the development and ratification of global VoIP standards. Cohen was also named, by “The Marker”, a leading Israeli Business Newspaper, as one of the “100 Most Influential Israelis” in Israel’s High Technology history in September 2005. Cohen holds an MBA and BSC.EE from Tel Aviv University.

Text of Mentorship with Alon Cohen

  • 1. MentorshipAlon Cohen 2013 alonchook@gmail.comCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 1

2. Agenda VocalTec or My Story Mentorship Should you believe what I say? Who should you listen to? Last word of adviceCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 2 3. The Beginning - 1989FYI: VocalTec First VoIP company. 2 geeks garage operation Alon Cohen Lior Haramaty Developing a sound card for a PC Starting with $4000 giftCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 3 4. Staying Afloat 1989-1992 Selling Sound cards for different applications Stand alone sound devices Ice-cream truck music box Hebrew TTS for blind people Reaching out to the US marketCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 4 5. Re-Inventing the company1993 -1994 VocalTec was losing the battle with sound cards The keyword was SoundBlaster compatibility Raised money Vardi: The CAT will not sell but I saw good people, you should invest Sat down for a problem solving session (1993) We understand Telephony We understand Computers We understand integration of Computer & Audio We bet that every computer will have sound The conclusion Build a Phone Application that use PCs & LAN Novel -> Net-BiosCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087www.phone.com 6. From LAN to WAN Is this VocalTecs support? Support: Yes.. Your software does not work I am trying to call from England to France over my fast 64K Line, and it sounds bad. Did you press the compress button? Wow!! now its working, I can save a bundle on my long distance phone calls!! That was it. We now had a clear direction. We had to make it work on the Widest Public Network available.Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 7. Creativity Wins - 1995 Developing SW only Real-Time audio compression Using IRC as a directory service Only small luck.. All the experience we had from the Sound Cards days All that we developed for the LAN Was needed and operating in full force on the Internet The final touch Converting every 3 bits to 1 bit (dropping 66% and losing only 25%) E-commerce engine Internet download Mass distributionCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com7 8. 1995 1996 The Launch Feb 1995 First to market Good PR People Getting front page headlines 1996 - EXIT Going public (Nasdaq: VOCL)Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 8 9. What else VocalTec - IPO RemoteAbility - sold ExciteView nice demo, wrong partner BitWine sold and came back Phone.com still on itCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 9 10. MentorshipCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 10 11. The Sample Size TheoryN = 1/(B^2) So for: N = 100 we get an +/-10% error (Good) N = 3 we get a +/- 60% error (Very bad) N = 2 you get a +/70% error (Even worse)Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 11 12. And here is the problem Most mentors (like me) had N = 1,2 or 3,4 experiences. I.e my conclusions has potentially +/-60% deviation from the truth Time is different Technology changed Market players morphed And people are never the same Your startup is most likely different (Some principals are similar, like buy low sell high) However, the details make all the difference What to sell, to whom? When? Where? and at how much?Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 12 13. Do you know what is best? Most starting entrepreneurs thinks they do N = 0 --> B = +/- A lot Confident people are more susceptible to errors Hence, not a good practice! So: First listen (with a very open mind) Preferably to people with some gray hair (or larger N) Than decide whats relevant and whats not for your case.Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com13 14. Pulling in Different Directions? Investors are not friends nor good mentors!!! Get investors only as absolute last resort They have their own agenda They think they know what is best for you and your startup Probably based on past few successes, if any Or maybe based on good grades & intuition. They are good smart people They are good in what THEY DO Much less in what you do. The house on the hill problem If you succeed I will be able to afford it. (Contributed by an investor)Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 14 15. Take it or Leave it Keep a file with ideas, keep updating them, keep adding - Ideas do expire Identify problems in your surroundings Solving them is an opportunity It is simpler to sell an investor a dream than a working product Try and let me know what worked better in your case Never say the word simple to an investor Extend your runway where you start is almost never where you finish Never work for free, give value or equity equivalent value to your time Be humble, listen to others, keep an open mind Ask many, decide with few Find good partners (it is hard, I know) Start with an API (if relevant) Always have a business model Luck has a lot to do with success Be nice to your employees, people do not forget. One day they will hire you.Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 15 16. ThanksAlon Cohenalonchook@gmail.comBLOG: alonc.blogspot.comPhone.comCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 16 17. How can Phone.com help you We help young startups with free services Look for our coupon code with: NJTechMeetup Or And few moreCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com17 18. Phone.com Hosted, in-the-cloud PBX services Launched the service in 2007 Selling - mostly online Self-provisioning platform Highly praised USA-based customer support (Yes, we can give you US numbers free for a year)Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com18 19. Features - To mention a few Forward calls outside the US. Change destination from anywhere to anywhere Rules-based call routing and schedules Voicemail transcription Unlimited IVR Global Numbers, Toll Free Numbers, iNum Numbers DIDs forward SMS to cell or e-mail Soft Phones (PC and Mobile) Point to Point Video using SIP and h.264 Address book sync HD Voice using G.722Call us 24/7 (800) 998-7087www.phone.com 19 20. Distributed Call Center using the API Phone.com Business Phone.com API Agent CommunicatorPhone #CallPhone #CallPhone #CallCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com20 21. Marketing Support - Call AnalyticsFree $4.88/MoCall us 24/7 (800) 998-7087 www.phone.com 21