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E Burbidge #idealab12

Eileen Burbidge
Eileen Burbidge
Eileen BurbidgePartner at Passion Capital

slides for #idealab12: my skype story and lessons learned

E Burbidge #idealab12

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Eileen Burbidge (@eileentso)
E Burbidge #idealab12
Taken: July 20, 2004 (Tallinn Estonia)
source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/43922369
Howard Hartenbaum
Tim Draper
Steve Jurvetson MarkTlucz
Taavet Hinrikus
MikeVolpi
Danny Rimer
Niklas Zennstrom
JaanTallinn
Janus Friis
Ahti Heinla
ToivoAnnus
Priit Kaselu
Kaido Karner
 Had never heard of the company
 Net2Phone,VoIP available (MSN,AIM, etc)
 Personally “meh” about the product/USP
 I avoid talking on the phone
 Distributed team (remote dev)
 Founders didn’t look me in the eyes
 No real office
 Last-round interview at the pub
 No employment contract (no senior title)
 KaZaA founders
 “Something” there
 Skeleton crew
 Mystique
 Cost of living covered
 KaZaA founders
 KaZaA founders
 KaZaA founders
 KaZaA founders
 Shit smart (wit+common sense)
 Insecure; worked to impress
 Man-crushing on everyone
 Working hard, playing hard
 ESOL precise (no bullshit)
 Asked questions all the time
 Mutually respectful
 Got shit done

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E Burbidge #idealab12

  • 3. Taken: July 20, 2004 (Tallinn Estonia) source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/43922369 Howard Hartenbaum Tim Draper Steve Jurvetson MarkTlucz Taavet Hinrikus MikeVolpi Danny Rimer Niklas Zennstrom JaanTallinn Janus Friis Ahti Heinla ToivoAnnus Priit Kaselu Kaido Karner
  • 4.  Had never heard of the company  Net2Phone,VoIP available (MSN,AIM, etc)  Personally “meh” about the product/USP  I avoid talking on the phone  Distributed team (remote dev)  Founders didn’t look me in the eyes  No real office  Last-round interview at the pub  No employment contract (no senior title)
  • 5.  KaZaA founders  “Something” there  Skeleton crew  Mystique  Cost of living covered  KaZaA founders  KaZaA founders  KaZaA founders  KaZaA founders
  • 6.  Shit smart (wit+common sense)  Insecure; worked to impress  Man-crushing on everyone  Working hard, playing hard  ESOL precise (no bullshit)  Asked questions all the time  Mutually respectful  Got shit done
  • 8.  Laser-sharp vision  Intelligent + insightful  Worked all the time  Trusted his developers  Greedy  Conflict-averse  Passive aggressive  Greedy
  • 9.  Laser-sharp tactics  Crazy smart  Worked 24/7  Hired the best  Slave-driver  Painfully direct  Aggressive aggressive
  • 10.  Work your ass off (quality with quantity)  Always get something out of it  Make the choices that make you nervous  You never know what will be the next big thing (Skype,Twitter, Rovio (Angry Birds), OMGPop (Draw Something), Instagram
  • 11.  be passionate about your market, users, product  be the co-/founder, CEO, lead  protect from dilution at all costs  only raise from big-brandVCs  …but it helps!
  • 12. "What Skype is doing is like a toy," says Hossein Eslambolchi, AT&T's chief technology officer and president of AT&T Labs. "They will realize they can't scale it, they don't have a brand like the AT&T brand, and they don't have the local footprint, which we have. It's going to be very hard to compete with someone like AT&T." Fortune Magazine, Feb 09, 2004
  • 13.  You have nothing to lose  You can always get a job at Siemens or Google  Go work with amazing people (weird is good)  Find complementary sets of individuals/skills  Learn from the process; make shit up  If decisions aren’t scary, it’s too easy  Be paranoid about being found out
  • 14. “The Internet isn’t going to work in Europe.” (1996) Robert Dighero “Why would I useTwitter?” (2007) “Microsoft Excel and business models are a sub-genre of science fiction.” (on-going) Stefan Glänzer

Editor's Notes

  1. Feb 9 2004
  2. Feb 9 2004
  3. Feb 9 2004