Thursday, July 23, 2009

SpinVox Hot Spinning

Super-hyped and hyper-funded UK voice-to-text firm Spinvox has taken a lot of fire in the last couple of weeks. First, mocoNews reported last Monday that the company was trying to pay employees in stock as a cost savings measure....which can't be a good sign (even in this dire economy) for a company that's received ~$200mil from Goldman Sachs and others...half in the last 18 months. Then mocoNews/Paid Content ran an extensive 2-part interview with CEO Christina Domecq which raised allegations of company excesses, non-payment of salaries/expenses & slow-boating vendor payments... which Domecq dismissively attributed to the economy & disgruntled ex (or soon to be ex) employees. Then today, a BBC investigation revealed (and this was touched upon in the Moco interview) that many of the messages the company claimed to be automatically processing through their hot-shot "D2" algorithm were actually being listened to and manually transcribed by call center staff in South Africa & the Philippines (low-tech). After the release of the BBC story SpinVox got its spin on and retorted with a post on the company's blog addressing (re-addressing in some cases) issues raised by the Beeb & Moco. Their publicity department must be asleep at the wheel, because absolutely nothing good can come from the company entering into a war of posts with the media (in which the company portrays itself as a victim). This is only going to subject SpinVox to further scrutiny of its technology & financial condition. I've gotta say, it feels to me like another shoe is about to drop on the SpinVox story...if it does, hopefully it doesn't completely crush a firm that ostensibly offers a cool/useful product with lots of potential to scale.

1 comment:

  1. you really called this correctly! very wise and prescient.