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The Story of Skype (Stanford 2009)


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Seminar description: Private - Public Models of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Europe.
Our final Winter Quarter session will explore private vs. public models of innovation and entrepreneurship using Skype and the Danish government's Mindlab as examples.

Published in: Education, Business

The Story of Skype (Stanford 2009)

  1. 1. The Story of Skype Sten Tamkivi, Chief Evangelist European Entrepreneurship and Innovation Thought Leaders , Stanford University, March 9th , 2009
  2. 2. Skype – The European Innovation Success Story
  3. 3. Enabling the world’s conversations Voice Video Data IM SMS Identity
  4. 4. Over 25% of call minutes carry video 28 Languages Available in nearly every country on E arth 8% of world’s calling minutes* *Source: Telegeography 08 30% of users use Skype for business purposes 100 Billion Skype-to-Skype Minutes as of Feb ‘08 405 Million Global Users
  5. 5. How it all started <ul><li>Founded in 2003 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Founders: Niklas Zennström (Sweden), Janus Friis (Denmark) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Founding engineers: Jaan Tallinn, Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, Toivo Annus (Estonia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Headquartered in Luxembourg, the largest office has always been in Estonia. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Financing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DraperCo seed round before product launch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launch and initial pickup attracted top VC names: DFJ, Mangrove, Bessemer, Index </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005 acquisition by eBay Inc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US$ ~.5B revenues and 2 years of profitability in 2008 </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Global VS Local <ul><li>Global mindset from day 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First 6 employees from 4 nationalities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First 600 employees from ~40 nationalities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leveraging local qualities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Estonia – small and efficienct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Europe – cultural diversity </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Impact to Estonia and Europe <ul><li>Proof of potential and role model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>European entrepreneurship elevated in last few years through Skype,, MySQL... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Direct spillover effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced, networked and funded talent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Giving back to the society, governments: “What do we need to do to have 10 more Skypes?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic environment and regulation </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Thank you Skype:sten