An Entrepreneur's Answer To Robocalls
Written by Tim Morral
Entrepreneur launches an innovative new tool to help consumers stop annoying robocalls once and for all.
If you have a landline, you're probably familiar with robocalls -- those annoying, automated marketing calls that interrupt your life at all hours of the day. Although many robocalling practices have been outlawed, some marketers continue to harass consumers with these types of telemarketing calls in clear violation of the law.
Now, one entrepreneur is fighting back. According to NBC News, Nomorobo is a free, web-based service that will filter robocalls and prevent them from ringing at your home. The brainchild of entrepreneur Aaron Foss, a Long Island-based software programmer, Nomorobo automatically tags robocalls and hangs up on them before you receive a second ring. Legitimate robocalls (e.g. school closings, appointment reminders, etc.) are not affected by the service.
But while Nomorobo represents a serious step forward in the fight against automated telemarketing practices, the real news for entrepreneurs is the path Foss used to develop his business concept and to design a technology product fit for the marketplace.
In April, Foss tied for first place in the Federal Trade Commission's Robocall Challenge. The $25,000 prize from the competition helped enable him to devote himself to Nomorobo on a full-time basis.
"We're aware and extremely pleased that potential technological solutions to help consumers block unwanted, illegal robocalls are making their way to the marketplace," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Foss launched his business based on the simple concept of designing a product that meets a need in the marketplace. For entrepreneurs, the idea of starting with the problem is accepted as a savvy way to launch a new business -- even though it's a concept that is frequently overlooked by startup entrepreneurs.
"People are screaming out for a solution," Foss said. "I hope to make their lives a little bit better."
Like most entrepreneurs, Foss knows that he'll have to adapt Nomorobo to changes in both the industry and the marketplace. For Foss, this means staying one step ahead of robocallers' efforts to thwart technologies that filter automated calls.
"If the robocallers adapt, then I'll have to adapt," he said.
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