Jul. 4th, 2007

More early adopters leave the station. Google + Grand Central combine to bring us one phone number (at last).

In the last few days the phone industry was been marked by not one, but two, big events.

Apple’s iPhone debuted.

But it is the second biggie, Google’s acquisition of GrandCentral, a service that ties together all of your existing phone lines, numbers and voice mail boxes into one number and one online inbox, that caught our attention.

Leaving aside the fact that is a supremely cool idea, fitting very nicely into the why-didn’t-i-think-of-that category alongside, oh, i dunno, the Spring Loaded Xmas Tree Stand or the non-slip toothbrush holder, designed to hold a brush in place while toothpaste is added).

Interestingly, Grand Central adopted the now commonplace tactic of signing people up for a virtual waiting list.

Taking a page from Google’s book (remember how you had to know someone to get one of the original Gmail accounts?). Likewise, you can’t simply sign up for Grand Central without an invitation–but you can raise your hand for an invite by registering on their site.

Look for similar stealth launches in the future as more new products seek a quick path to the much coveted early adopter (and the inevitable buzz of being unobtainable).

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