I created a proof of concept audio calling mobile app which provides much better voice quality under bad network conditions than most existing Apps (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, etc.). It is demonstrably much better than what exists today and fixes those annoying metallic noises you hear when your WiFi connection is bad and you cannot hear your peer properly. With my codec the voice stays almost crystal clear and the other performance characteristics are still very good (low latency, bandwidth used, etc).
The question is what next? I have a pretty busy day job and created this on my spare time on weekends. Now I need to decide what my next steps are.
Some of the options I have:
Build a production audio calling App and release it. This requires funding, team, time and infrastructure and I will need to quit my job. Cons: I have no idea how to monetize yet another audio/video calling app (and the world probably doesn’t really need another one).
Try to license the technology to existing App vendors. One problem is I don’t know anyone from these companies and don’t know who to approach (likely solvable, I can search my network). Probably need to patent the technology first otherwise not sure I can sell anything; the idea and implementation are not rocket science and if not patented can be re-implemented from clean sheet. I hate software patents but don’t know if I will have any negotiating lever with Big Co without one. Another problem is I have no idea if anyone will want to license what I created.
Open-source the technology. Unfortunately doesn’t pay the bills. Plus what I have is just a proof of concept, not a production ready library so I will need to spend even more time on this without being paid anything. This may be my last resort if I don’t find a good way to monetize or build a business on this.
What would you do?