Intelius cancels its cell phone directory, saving me the trouble of having to opt out of it every three months

Raymond Chen

A few years ago, I wrote about a new cell phone directory that charges $15 to give you incorrect information, and from which you have to renew your opt-out every three months. Well, apparently, less than a year later, due to “complaints from consumers and Verizon Wireless,” Intelius decided to discontinue the service. Intelius is back in the news, because they have filed a preliminary prospectus with the SEC for an initial public offering. (According to TechCrunch, this is their second attempt at an IPO.) “It’s important to know the history. Many investors looking at his history would be very careful.” The person being referred to by that analyst is your friend and mine, Naveen Jain, current CEO of Intelius and more notably former CEO of InfoSpace. My guess is that Naveen did this for the attention, because it has been too long since the last time he got to tell a reporter how awesome he is.

(By the way, his Wikipedia article at publication time demonstrates a bit of Naveen-like grandstanding. The article claims that he joined Microsoft in 1989 as a senior executive. I worked in an office down the hall from him in the early 1990’s. He was no senior executive. He was just another middle manager, notable for being significantly more annoying and loud-mouthed than your average middle manager. And the quotation “My job was to define what a product should do from a consumer point of view and what it is that Microsoft wanted the program to be” is just the job description of a Program Manager at Microsoft. Nothing special.)


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