I have been both honored and humbled at the same time. Two days ago, TMC's Rich Tehrani presented some of my closest friends in world, some who are or have been clients and I with an award.
That award is all about our contributions that made us Pioneers in VoIP by helping make the industry what it is today. For me, it was about as emotionally charged as the day I graduated Temple University, my wedding in Montpeyroux, when I produced the retirement night of the Flyers' hero and longtime captain Bobby Clarke, or the night I brought him out of retirement in 1988 to play against the Celebrity All Star Hockey Team.
Being up on stage with Jeff Pulver (Von, Vonage), Craig Walker (GrandCentral, Switch, UberConference, DialPad), Andy Voss (NeuEra, Sansay), Mike Tribolet (Vonage, Dialpad, YipTV), Alon Cohen (VocalTec, Phone.com) and Danny Windham of Digium was a rush.
It was a rush because when I first started VoIPWatch, back in 2003, I did it for four reasons:
- To be asked by media about the subject and to be an authority about it.
- To speak at conferences
- To attract new clients
- To make new friends
I can safely say those goals were met and continue to be met every day.
It was also great to see Rich start the IT Expo Hall of Fame and induct friends Alon Cohen and Jeff Pulver. I'm happy to have contributed my part in making that possible too. So if there's one more guy who belongs up on that list of Pioneers. It's Rich himself. He's done as much as anyone to help propel the industry, so while he moderated, he just as easily could have been one of us.
As for whom else could be on that list of pioneers, I've got a few in my mind who can't be overlooked at all.
- Erik Lagerway for XTEN and what is now Counterpath, as well as many other VoIP based businesses.
- Dr. Ed Guy and James Tagg, for their work with Mobile VoIP at Truphone
- Alec Saunders who created iotum and what is now Calliflower
- Ben Lilienthal of HiDef Conferencing for bringing us HD before its time
- Jeff Bonforte and Michael Robertson for giving us SIPPhone and Gizmo Project
- Nicklas and Janus for giving us Skype
- Om Malik for BroadBandits and the start of GigaOm the first mainline publication to give a SIP about VoIP plus for his willingness to give me "link love" when I needed it back at the start of this journey.
You see, there are many pioneers, so to be singled out on the first panel, and part of the first ballot inductees into what really is the Pioneers of VoIP Club is truly a big honor for me.
Thanks TMC. Thanks Rich. And thanks to all the people I was there on stage with. To be honored along with each of you is to be truly humbled.