Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Is Skype great or what?

I just LOVE Skype. I started using their service late 2003 or early 2004, I can't recall.

Their ability to make things easy and straightforward is one of their biggest strengths. No nonsense. And when Skype became capable of handling calls on legacy telephony services, I was stunned with their design of the software: they were able to make full use of my existing experience and user education with a phone!

I know this may sound naive, but still I wanted to praise those guys for their excellent design. Small "details" were clearly thought through and everything works smoothly, including when I am calling a service provider who greets me with an IVR system. Great work! Design is great at Skype and marketing communication is as great: I just love their counters on their web site with numbers of downloads and minutes served.

Skype is stunning. Praise to their people for their accomplishment. Yet another indication that it's all about talent!

People make the world go round (or not)


  1. Dear Alex,
    I can't agree more with you. Skype is no-frills killer application. They made it compelling by really thinking through what would differentiate their solution (integrate legacy phone systems) and what would be 'technology for technology's sake' (video conferencing). They have some issues to sort out, but i'm confident they'll make it work.
    During my research on E-business consulting companies in Europe a few years back, i came across Good Experience ( Their story is very simple, yet amazingly compelling. You might want to check them out.
    I'm happy to witness the increasing emphasis on design these days. Design (which includes user interface) is more frequently quoted by more influential people as being a key business driver. This, I noticed, is the case both on the guru side and on 'real world' side of today's business scene. Tom Peters and Steve Jobs follow Jack Welch's credo in that respect : they repeat their belief in design over and over and over and over until they gag on the word.
    Always willing to discuss further ... over Skype ;)
    Take care,

  2. Goodexperience is interesting from the standpoint of focus on experience and design. Creative Good (the consulting activity) is an example of focused service provider that excels at something very specific and I bet they beat bigger names hands down because of their focus and expertise in their field.
    I understand your point about design and what Tom Peters and Steve Jobs are "selling". To me the idea that we are in an experience economy makes business sense and explains some "weird" pricing and service models.
    Thanks for comments and I will be happy to speak to you on Skype or to invite you for an "old world" experience if you were to show up in Brussels: a good old Belgian beer + discussion in this lovely country.

  3. very right about skype. the problem with more convention VoIP systems is that they depend on hardware solutions and on top of that they use conventional prospection and marketing tricks, which don't always work with new products.
    Skype understood that they better get on the "market" by giving their software for free. Having done that has proven to be the right strategy. On top of that the fact they have immediately opened their platform for programmers (API) has made it even more interesting.