OK, so it’s the fourth post this week where I’ve referenced Dan York. But over the two years I have known Dan I have to say he is, in my view, one of the most respected authorities on the technology behind today’s communications revolution. Yet he also understands the value of the user experience.
In celebration of Skype’s fifth birthday Dan has written the most thorough post yet on Skype’s accomplishments and how it has changed not only his life but also the communications market space he works in. He starts out with a personal reminder (along the lines of many of the “What Skype Means to Me” posts that Phil has been coordinating):
I had a personal reminder of that the other day when I wound up in a video chat with one of my closest friends who was my best man at my wedding 12 years ago. Although we have spoken in the intervening years, we had not actually seen each other in probably most of 10 years due to living far apart. He and his wife emailed a group of folks that they now had a Skype ID. I added them as a contact, opened an IM chat and wound up calling them… and then moving into video and seeing them both. It was a powerful moment – and a great reminder of the power of Skype to easily connect people.
Articulating his contribution to our Skype discussion on yesterday’s SquawkBox, Dan then goes on to talk about the many unique aspects of Skype:
- How Skype Disrupted Technology
- Skype “Just Worked”
- Wideband Audio
- Secure VoIP
- P2P VoIP
- Voice First
- Multi-Modal Communication
- PSTN Interconnection
- Cheap Calls
- Challenging SIP and Open Standards
- Persistent Chat – with History
Dan goes on to discuss some of the imperfections and bumps that Skype has experienced over the years and the need for the new executive team to express its vision for the future. (Although Josh’s “liquid communication” term is an appropriate description when I look at the variety of ways I can converse currently via Skype over my PC’s, Blackberry, Nokia N-series phones, Sony mylo, Nokia N-800 tablet, Skypephone).
Last week at Rogers’ Blackberry Bold launch, RIM’s Director of PR pointed out how, during the famous patent lawsuit, settled over two years ago, enterprise IT managers were seeking out alternatives to the Blackberry, should a court injunction force disruption of the Blackberry service in the U.S. This turned out to be one of the best “zero cost” marketing tools RIM has ever had. The IT managers could all report back that the only total solution to their mobile communications needs was indeed Blackberry. (And will remain so, in spite of iPhone’s success.)
So show me another multi-modal, secure, archiving, interconnected conversation platform that provides all the features above in a user-friendly means and that can deliver all the user experiences posted on Skype Journal over the past few days and I’ll stop being a Skype Cheerleader. (But, going forward, the Skype team still has to earn their way … and will.) Yet I’ll also be a cheerleader for anyone else who delivers beneficial user experiences with access to over 40 million ongoing users.