Don’t Believe the Skype?

    April 18, 2005

Although I haven’t yet tried Skype, I believe in it. There’s something about “the world’s big, free Internet telephony company” that sort of makes you sit up and take notice.

As so many already have, Skyping happily away and avoiding silly roaming charges. Sunday’s mention by James Fallows is another boost for the company.

As far as I can tell, there are a few possible reasons why none of RIM, Yahoo, Google, Apple, major phone companies, Palm, or Microsoft have acquired Skype. Pick yours.

  1. They’re working on their own, better version
  2. They are planning to become road kill
  3. They’re hoping the other guys will do it, to help them time their “second mover” strategy
  4. They’re too busy working on annoying commercials

Maybe this is the problem. There are a lot of alternative telephony companies right now, slicing and dicing bandwidth, offering forwarding, extra numbers, calling features, and an array of better deals than last year’s better deals. But nothing that just seems to go “Yeah, Baby!”

If Google or Apple haven’t bought Skype yet, it’s probably because they think that Google Phone or Apple Connect or what have you will need to be another notch or two better than Skype, and they’re working on it now.

Fine. But isn’t it high time a company like RIM diversified?

We, the humble screwed phone company victims, anxiously await the coming fireworks.

Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.