From 1997 to 2002, Apple’s main advertising campaign encouraged us to “Think Different“. It was a plea to do exactly that, by getting away from Microsoft Windows. It was a business request for very real business change.

Yesterday, I came across a new way to think different. It isn’t revolutionary, unless you think knocking your phone bill down to almost nothing and saving electricity at the same time qualifies.

OK, so of course that qualifies. But my question to you is this: how many chances do you miss to create business change by think (ing) different (ly)?

Yesterday, Woot.com, one of the original “daily deal” sites and so successful that it was bought by Amazon.com, had the OOMA IP telephone device on sale. I happen to use an OOMA for two phone lines at Answer Guy Central, and I happen to have bought my OOMA at Woot! a while back.

I can tell you that the OOMA phone device does exactly what it claims; I paid under $200 for my OOMA, and I get a monthly bill for just over three dollars, in exchange for which I have works-just-like-you-expect-it-to phone line (the second line is from an add-on pack I buy from OOMA that gives me that and a bunch of extra features for about $10 per month).

So for $13 per month, all-in, OOMA gives me two phone lines and unlimited calling in the United States and Canada. I could pay Verizon over $100 for the same thing, or Vonage, another IP-based telco, about $60, so OOMA obviously is a pretty decent money saver, and yes, that’s business change all on its own.

But then I read this comment on OOMA at Woot!:

Woot-OOMA-Think-Different-Electricity

Ooma, which in my opinion works a whole bunch better than other extremely-low-cost telco switches like MagicJack, also saves electricity. In fact, if those numbers are right, compared to MagicJack the OOMA will save you $250 per year in electricity costs.

Now to be fair, comparing OOMa’s electricity usage to MagicJack’s and its cost to Verizon isn’t an apples and apples kind of thing. But I’m not looking to be “fair”; I’m looking to “think different”. And adding electricity consumption to the equation, both for its cost and its environmental impact, certainly qualifies.

And that’s real business change.

By the way: having used OOMA for several months I can tell you this: it sounds as good as my old wire line, and is just as reliable (assuming you have a solid Internet connection).

Now all you have to worry about is whether you’re going to continue having unlimited Internet.

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