Tello – Good Product, Dumb Strategy?

Tello has been all over the news since last night. It hasn’t launched yet, but the promise is to allow people within your company and at trusted other companies to see your “presence”.

This means you can tell if they are using a landline, cell phone or IM application. You can use the Tello application to communicate with them and share applications. The system will work with traditional phones, blackberries and IM clients, and looks to be a killer productivity tool.

Tello raised $5.5 million from Eagle River, Evercore Partners, Rho Ventures and Intel Capital. The founders include John Sculley, Jeff PUlver, Craig McCaw and Michael Price.

I’m looking forward to testing this out, and maybe using it for my business. But Tello has made some odd choices in the weeks before launch.

First they clearly orchestrated a news blitz even though they are pre-launch. Ok, they got some great coverage. But why did they organize this way before launch? There won’t be as much hype on the day this goes live, when people can actually use the service.

Second, they’ve obviously decided that the bloggers don’t matter much. Om Malik and Alec Saunders took the time to write about them. Even though they each command a large and very relevant audience, Tello didn’t bother to list either of them on the news page. Lots of other bloggers wrote about Tello too (including our own MobileCrunch), but were not mentioned. Companies that don’t embrace bloggers tend to become attacked by bloggers. Companies that embrace bloggers, and thank them, get lots and lots of love.

Third, and this is minor – what’s up with the circa 1995 stock photography on the home page?

And no blog? Does Tello intend to communicate with us via press releases?

Of course, I will forget all of this (stock photography and all) if Tello is as cool as it looks like it might be.

Update: I have never been ripped into as aggresively as I have in the comments to this post.

Update: Tello has added blog posts to their news page. Good for them.