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September 12, 2005

End of an Era? eBay to purchase Skype

So it turns out that the rumors late last week were true. eBay is going to purchase Skype.

But one thing the folks at eBay forgot about, is that while money can buy many things, as the Beatles once said, "Money can't buy you love."

And it was a love and passion by the community of Skype users that directly helped drive Skype's worldwide recognition and success during the past two years. (Having great technology helped a lot too!)

Now that Skype has "gone commercial" I wonder how much of today's Skype community will be there in three months, six months and a year from now.

The punch line here is that it may no longer matter.

Just in a flash, Skype has become the "engine" for eBay customers to communicate with each other. An interesting business model. I'll leave it at that.

What I find to be more interesting is that the basic element of Skype "needing" to be disruptive to the world's communication service providers seemed to have been lifted.

There is a part of me that wonders if the World's telcos got together and gave eBay the money to purchase Skype so that wouldn't have to worry about being disrupted. As a friend says, "there is more truth said in jest than in fiction."

So what exactly is eBay purchasing other than some pretty cool P2P technology, a great brand and access to two of the best minds to hit the internet and market disruptive innovations who have a track record of taking a vision and turning it into a reality?

I'm afraid only the shareholders of eBay will find out.

Until recently, I never looked at Skype as an "ecommerce play." I'm not sure who did. One question that comes to mind is why eBay didn't decide on launching their own SIP service and build their own softclient to optimize the eBay/Paypal end user experience?

Oh well, looks like the market for enabling end-to-end IP Communications (between end-users not looking to do ecommerce) is going to be wide open again.

Another turn of the screw in the history of IP Communications.

Now I have a reason once again to get re-engaged with Free World Dialup.

The timing could not have been better.

Thank you eBay and Skype!

Posted by dymaxion at September 12, 2005 10:10 PM


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