Friday, 9 June 2017

An Estonian Startup; Skype

Do you know where Estonia is? Have you heard about this place before? Okay, what if I ask you; have you heard about Skype? Well, it got its soul in Estonia. Nobody knew where Estonia is! Somebody said it’s halfway between Stockholm and St. Petersburg. Now, people say it’s where Skype originated.

A team of people in Estonia started working on the backend preparation, a revolutionary change in peer-to-peer communication; which also is a reason behind name Skype (Sky Peer-to-peer). Their work schedule included sitting anywhere and working, having that one dream that bound them all.  After they were successful in making the software, in came the investors and supporters, who took it to another level. It required Marketing, and that’s what it got.

Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, who already had success in making Kazaa (Peer-to-peer file sharing device); were the ones to give it the current form as they wanted to test their hands on this alongside the Estonian engineers. They thought about developing a device from the backend, and convert into something that people could use as a telecom device by just having an electronic device and Internet connection. Telephone rates and roaming charges were already on a high, so they though this to be the ultimate solution.

They decided to name it Skyper, but because they couldn’t get the domain name with Skyper, they decided to change it to ‘Skype’. And the ones who’d use it will be called ‘Skyper’; brilliant move!

In 2005, E-bay acquired Skype for $2.5Bn; the founders began to invest in a streaming service called Joost, but that failed, which made E-bay incur losses. In 2008, E-bay thought they overvalued Skype, and decided to pull out.

In 2010, Skype ventured into Skype 4.1, making it available for Windows, Mac, Linux; and had its eye on entering the mobile market. In 2010-11, Video call functions came into Skype for Mobile Phones. In 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype, and groomed it to give the integrated identity of Microsoft. It started the screen-sharing feature and group video calls, and vouched to provide an ad-free interface.

In November 2012, Microsoft announced Skype to be its official messenger, which boosted the users base. People could just log-on in through their Microsoft account, and could search through Bing Tab present there.

Skype started from Estonia, and has reached worldwide now! If you have an idea, go ahead with it; risking each strand of your potential. Think big and make it big.