007 BTW – Skype

by Cliff Ravenscraft on October 20, 2009

in Business Tech Weekly


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In this episode, Andy Traub and Cliff Ravenscraft discuss the advantages of using Skype.

Wikipedia on Skype

* History
o Written by developers in Estonia and got its name for Sky peer to peer and then Skyper and then b/c of domain name availability (See BTW epidisode #1 for more on that topic) chose Skype
o eBay bought it for 2.6B in 2006, valued it at 1.7B in April of this year but then sold 65% of it for 1.9B, which makes it worth 2.9B just a few mths ago.
o Skype is threatened b/c of a lawsuit from it's originators – http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/01/ebay-case-threatens-skype-shutdown – “Millions of internet users who use Skype could be forced to find other ways to make phone calls after parent company eBay said it did not own the underlying technology that powers the service, prompting fears of a shutdown.”
o Skype made eBay over $600M in the last year and has over 480 million registered users. Skype is adding about 30 million subscribers a quarter. They'd have to settle the dispute or find new technology for the software to work.
* Features
o Skype allows users to make calls over the internet for free anywhere in the world.
o Calls to landlines or cell phones can be made for very small fees.
o You can buy a phone number that goes to your Skype acct and you can forward your skype acct to a phone number.
o Video conferencing
o File transferring
o Desktop sharing – bandwidth hog
o Multiple callers “Skype audio conferences currently support up to 25 people at a time, including the host.” – Wikipedia
o Available on cell phones – often limited to WiFi connectivity vs. cell phone network
o Customer service – non-existant? “As of September 2009, Skype does not provide any official means to contact customer support, apart from indirect assistance through its web portal only and contact email addresses. Skype is also unable to update user billing information.”
* For Business
o Call quality is amazing- makes conversations even more personal
o Makes you available immediately
o Skype gives me no boundaries
o I don't use video during business – too personal in my opinion
* Alternatives
o Gizmo project

Forum Question: How does Skype help your business?

Andy's POTW: A book! Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel – It's in the same class but more readable than Seth Godin's books. A must read if you work with Social Media. I”m giving it away to people in a class I”m hosting starting in November and I'm telling many of my clients to read it to create a strategy of their own.

His Blog: click here.

Cliff's POTW: Chris Anderson's FREE

In Free, he makes the compelling case that, in many instances, businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them. He demonstrates how this revolutionary price can be harnessed for the benefit of consumers and businesses alike.

Google Document Suite now enables users to share entire folders between each other, not just documents. Way to go Google..maybe they're feeling the heat from Microsoft's new web based tools that are starting to roll out over the next few months. We KNOW that Google has lots of features they're holding back and that's why we LOVE competition.

Tungle v.2 is still on schedule for a November roll-out and Andy got a sneak peek of some really slick changes they're making to an already stellar service. Bravo to our friends at Tungle and our thanks again to Marc, Tungle's president for joining us on the show.

Big name coming to Business Tech Weekly November 12th. Jason Fried (wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Fried) the remaining founder of 37signals will be joining us. He's so popular that Seth Godin drops his company's name in his blog as an example what's cool and he's got a book coming out next year that's already in the top 20 books on Management on Amazon.com as of October 14th and it doesn't come out for another 5 months! His book is like the Harry Potter of management books! His company makes some amazing tools for businesses of all sizes and he's going to talk to us about his company and how anyone can build a successful business. This guy's huge and he's coming to Business Tech Weekly on Nov 12th!

CEO/Presidential Visits:This will become a regular part of our show – interviewing the leadership of companies that create business technology we believe in…got ideas or names of CEO's we should invite to be on the show? Visit the GSPN Forum and look for the BTW section and find the “Which CEO should we have on?” discussion.

Call Us Today: Do you have a question about a technology that could help you in your business? Do you have a comment you want to share? Call our voice mail listener feedback hotline. It's available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week by calling 859-795-4067.

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