I start my new job this coming Monday!

Pinger was started by Joe Sipher and Greg Woock, who were instrumental in the success of Palm and Handspring. They had an idea for a new mode of communication that filled the space between having a phone conversation and sending an email. Pinger merges the strengths of both – the speed and content of a voice message, but with the convenience features of an email.

To send a Pinger message, you simply dial the special “send” phone number, say the name of the person in your address book you want to send a message to, then say your message.

8 seconds later, the recipient receives a text message on their phone with a number to dial to retrieve the message. On my phone, I merely hit “send” while looking at the text message, and the phone will dial the number. The message plays immediately for the recipient. No menu prompts (“Press 1 to listen to messages, Press 2 to blah blah…”), no delay.

To reply to the message, the recipient presses “1”, speaks the reply, then hangs up.

You can define groups of people in your Pinger contact list, which allows you to broadcast a message to many people at once. I think this is a killer feature – imagine sending a voice message to everyone on your basketball team or mom’s group with a single swift action. Group message recipients can reply back to you, or to the whole group.

Just like email, your Pinger messages can be viewed (listened to) on the computer, and are presented as threaded discussions. You can send a Pinger message from the computer too, all you need is a microphone.

I think this idea has a future, and am excited to work in a small, focused company. I’ll be Pinger’s 4th engineer.

Pinger is in the heart of downtown San Jose, a block from about a dozen restaurants, and walking distance to several museums and parks. It’s going to be a shorter commute, both now and when we move to our new place.

Yahoo! still has a warm place in my heart though. I didn’t leave there because I disliked what I was doing – in fact, my last job at Y! was the most interesting that I’d had over my time there. I chose to leave mostly because of the opportunity I see at Pinger, not just in terms of their business success, but for a change in my environment.

So give Pinger a test drive … visit pinger.com and register for an account. The service is free, so give it a try!