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Business ideas for 3 guys...

I Joel!
I have discovered you about one year ago. I have read your blog, and the iceberg principle is my preferred article :)
I am running a small site with my firends:
The site is no profit, and we like to build a non-profit community around it (for sustaining it!).
Can you give us some hints?
Ciao ciao

Giovanni Giorgi
Sunday, February 22, 2004

Are you looking for business ideas or nonprofit ideas?

Here's a business idea. I want a docking station in my home for my cell phone that, as soon as I dock the phone, causes all my incoming calls to be rerouted to the land line, and, when I take it out, removes the call forwarding, automatically.

So I can give out one number but if people call me while I happen to be at home, I can take advantage of the higher voice quality of the land line.

This shouldn't be hard... there's some magic sequence of digits you can dial to make this happen -- but I want it to be totally automatic so it happens literally as a side effect of walking in the door and putting my cell phone down.

Not to mention charging the phone.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Monday, February 23, 2004

This exists, although I'm sure there's always room for improvements:

(No connection to me, just remembered I'd seen it and did a quick Google).

Monday, February 23, 2004

It doesn't seem to work quite the way Joel wants it to.  The device you linked to seems to route the call through the cell phone to the land line.  It sounds like Joel wants the call to be rerouted at the switch so that the call never goes over air, it stays on a wired connection all the way to Joel's home phone.  As the article mentions, because the current devices route through the cell phone, sound quality is even poorer than it is talking on a cell.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Not a device, but rather a service seems to accomplish roughly the same goal

Give out one number, then forward to your cell or land-line or even both at the same time.  Other cool features include voicemail and received faxes sent to your email.

Ken Klose
Monday, February 23, 2004

Wow, that RingCentral is actually something I've been looking for for YEARS.

I think I'll sign up...

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Let us know how RingCentral goes :) That's a whole article right there!

Ralph Lee
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I use a local service similar to RingCentral.  The one big problem is that when you make an outgoing call, the caller ID on the other end does not show the number you want to be public, but rather the number of the phone you are calling from.  People end up storing the wrong number in their speed-dial lists.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Actually Cingular offers a cradle that is almost what Joel is looking for.  The problem is that you have to hit a button before you remove the phone from the cradle to unforward the calls.  The service costs $3/month for unlimited forwarding plus the $35 or so for the cradle.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Joel Spolsky's idea is totally same as mine. There is a product, Desk Top Docking Station Cell Phone Hands-Free Kit, on the site,, almost is the one I'm looking for. If the station is extendable to connect several other desk phones, that would be entirely what I want.

George Liu
Friday, February 27, 2004

Here's a better link to the Cingular solution.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

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