Start Up Blog

One Downsmanship – John’s phone

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 9, 2011

The myriad of tablet and smart phone launches recently seems like a race of one upsmanship which inevitably leads to total confusion. Occasionally something really stands out. In the sea of features, occasionally one product makes you stop and take notice. On this occasion it is because it does less. I like to call it one downsmanship.

Introducing John’s Phone.


It makes and takes calls. That’s it. It’s so simple Alexander Graham Bell would know how to use it. It does have a quirky ‘analogue’ way of storing numbers, sending messages and playing games which you’ll see in the photo essay below. To me that adds some charm and talkability. At $110 it’s not exactly cheap – but it can be bought outside of contract.  As entrepreneurs the question we should be asking ourselves is this:

“How can we do less, to stand out more?”

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5 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Sammartino, Tony Mack and GetItDone GTD News. GetItDone GTD News said: One Downsmanship – John’s phone http://bit.ly/hjEwJ0 #business […]

  2. Jussi Pasanen said, on January 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    What a great product!

    Jussi (@jopas via twitter)

  3. whowhatwhere said, on January 11, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Do people still use styluses in this day and age?

  4. Greg Lam said, on January 14, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Wow, at $110 that’s a bit much. The idea’s definitely neat, to simply, but I’m quite sure you can get basic phones like that for much cheaper.

    In fact, I’m sure there are a lot of people upgrading to smart phones that are giving away for free their “simple” phones.

    On the other hand, I can see people ordering this for the “cool” factor. If all you really need is a phone, I suppose it has its place.


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