Love Letters, Hate Mail

Kelly — just want to say I love your newsletter. I know you get it all
the time, but I really appreciate the sometimes brutal honesty you write with!

Keep up the good work.

Sean B

New York, NY

Dear Sean,

If you keep on reading, I’ll keep on shootin’ from the hip. 🙂




Great piece and very insightful. We’re in an even smaller boat. Terrific
idea, reasonably good management team, limited capital. I’ll keep you
posted on how we turn out.
(In response to: “Stop the Music“)


Alan G.

Fair Oaks, CA

Dear Alan,

You can never underestimate the importance of a good idea. As far as
limited fundage goes, I’m a firm believer that necessity is the mother of
all invention. When money gets thrown at ideas indiscriminately, it too
often makes otherwise sharp entrepreneurs dull and lazy.

If this latest market meltdown teaches us anything, it’ll be how to adjust
to the “new” new economy. I don’t have any doubt the cream will rise to the

Best of luck with your future endeavors and do keep me posted.

Warm regards,


Hi Kelly,

Since I was considering purchasing the Naturally Speaking Mobile version 4
product, I was glad I had a chance to read your article concerning Lernout
& Hauspie’s Dragon Systems purchase. I noticed that the Dragon company does
not offer a 30 day money back guarantee, as do some other voice recognition
software companies, so I was concerned that the product would not deliver
as billed.

The price has in recent months become very low since discounts and rebates
are now being applied to this product. Are the rebates being offered
because of the buyout? Will there be adequate technical support for these
Dragon products once the companies have completely merged? Do you expect
any rapid advance in the voice recognition software technology as a result
of L&H’s drive to buy up all its competition and utilize the various
combined technologies?
(In response to: “Read My Lips“)

Dave B.

Columbus, OH

Dear Dave,

You have reason to be concerned. Speech recognition software has a long way
to go before normal human beings find it anything more than a passing
fancy. While I don’t need any pie-in-the-sky research report to tell me the
software CD works best as a beverage coaster, here it is anyway:

According to Forrester Research analyst John Dalton, abandonment rates
among users of state-of-the-art speech-recognition software like Voice
Xpress can be as high as 50%.

The rebates are being offered in an effort to move the product off shelves
to make way for the next generation of speech recognition software. I’m
sure that there’ll be adequate post-sales technical support, and the merger
isn’t likely to affect business operations. As far as what’s on the
horizon, as PCs get beefier, so goes speech recognition software. But if
you’re waiting to toss out the keyboard, don’t hold your breath.

For a terrific speech recognition product review check out my favorite
techno guru Ed Baig’s L&H Voice Xpress test drive here.

Any questions or comments, love letters or hate mail? As always, feel free
to forward them to [email protected].

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