Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Skype Just Turned 10 - Time Flies!

Last week I was at ITExpo in Las Vegas, and going into Labor Day weekend/end of summer, tech stuff just may not be top of mind, myself included. Am sure lots of interesting news items got missed then, and I wanted to quickly acknowledge one here that seems worthwhile to me.

Last Thursday, long-time Skype watcher, Stuart Henshall, wrote a nice post around Skype turning 10. I love Skype, use Skype, have a pretty distinct history with Skype, and have also been watching them closely, pretty much from the beginning. However, I didn't think about when that milestone was happening, and yeah, I guess it has been 10 years.

Wow - time sure flies, and I wanted make sure this got some new legs in case you missed it last week. I tweeted his post then, and am re-sharing here if you haven't read it yet. Others have since written about it and I agree with Stuart's take about this being a missed opportunity - "wasted" in his words. I would argue that the only things that have come close to having so much disruptive impact on telcos and consumers would be the iPhone/iPad and Android - both of which are wildly successful. We may never really understand why Skype didn't reach its business potential, but it sure has had a great run - and I think will continue to do so. I have lots of thoughts around this, but that's another series of blog posts - stay tuned!

Those of you who have known me a while will know about my oldest son, Max. He has always been the real tech authority in our family - even back when Skype started up. If you go back that far, you may recall when VON was really rocking, they had a couple of events here in Toronto. I was quite involved with them, and at the time, Skype's co-founder, Niklas Zennstrom had good reason not to set foot on U.S. soil - if you don't know the back-story, well, that's another post - but he had no problems coming to Canada.

So, in the spirit of reflecting on what made Skype so special, here's a wayback machine post of mine from the 2005 VON Canada event, and below is a photo of Niklas, Max and myself at the show. Max has grown a lot since then, and don't be fooled by his boyish looks. Am pretty sure he was the only kid in North America to get a private audience with Niklas back then, and he's been honing his knowledge ever since, including his own column he just started writing for Ziff Davis's Toolbox.com portal. Way to go, kid! And... thanks for the post, Stuart - glad I caught it on twitter.

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