The past week has provided an opportunity for all the nay-sayers and pessimists to say “I told you so”. But many bloggers have followed on Jeff Pulver’s lead with I Come to Praise Skype, not to Bury Them. Alec Saunders: Stop Wringing Your Hands. Skype is a Huge Success:
No, Skype isn’t a failure. By most definitions it’s a roaring success. The failure was EBay’s when they paid so handsomely for a business that was dedicated to sucking the profits out of a bloated telecom industry. Skype’s business plan was to take less money from consumers than a telco would for the same services. What were they expecting? What Skype hasn’t done is live up to its potential. The platform which many hoped would emerge from the momentum of Skype — the Voice 2.0 ideal of voice as an element in all applications — appears to have been sublimated to the needs of EBay’s balance sheet. The potential for Skype to utterly dominate voice in this new world has not yet been realized.
There’s still time. Nobody else has come close to what they’ve accomplished.
Over the past week I have also spoken with several Skype Partners; they all can only talk about the potential of Skype. I have to say, that due to the entrepreneurship shown by these partners, the Voice 2.0 ideal is being demonstrated in practice. Yes, they may be Skype versions of some legacy applications; however, Skype makes them even more useful and cost effective as applications. Best example: OnState’s Call Center virtually eliminates the need for a six figure PBX in order to operate a call center. And it provides an additional mode of communication with its unique chat capabilities. Three collaboration tools (my series will continue later this week); a voice conferencing app that handles up to 500 participants; Skype utilities (Pamela, Skylook) for logging and archiving in depth your Skype activities and a voice hosting service are all contributing to the Voice 2.0 ideal. And Paul Amery has done an excellent job of leading the Skype Developer Partner program while still recognizing there’s still a long road ahead to make it totally successful. The recent Skype Mashup contest demonstrated developer enthusiasm for incorporating Skype services into new applications.
Ken Camp, one of Skype’s most frequent critics, in “Comments from the Blogging World on Skype” sums it up with (typos corrected):
Overall, I think the community at large is still waiting to see what happens. There have been times I have not been a fan of Skype at all. That said, I want to see them succeed. I want to see them thrive more than they ever have. And like others, I’m optimistic that under the right leadership, Skype can set the bar far higher than they ever have before.
Thanks, Ken. Enough said….
Now that we are through the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday my Skype Primer series will continue later this week also.
Tags: Skype, Jeff Pulver, Alec Saunders, Ken Camp, Paul Amery, Skype Developer Program, OnState, Pamela, Skylook, Evoca, Convenos, Unyte, Yugma