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The EComm 2008 Interview with Skype's Jonathan Christensen should be required reading...

42F19C6B-67C5-433E-91B4-641B9323CD48.jpgAs we enter into the final month before eComm 2008, I would suggest that the interview with Jonathan Christensen, Skype's general manager of audio and video, should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in this space. Why? Well, in part because Jonathan Christensen does provide some good information about what Skype has done and is doing but also because it provides some good insight into what one of the people driving Skype's agenda is thinking about this space. Take one of the final paragraphs where he answered Lee Dryburgh's question about what he saw as the the future of communications (bold emphasis added by me):
Well, a big question I guess and, having worked on the space for quite a while, I think that it's only going to get more interesting over the coming years since, well, like this open spectrum for example. You know, I just have to reiterate, I think that anybody who has not figured out that the Internet is the platform and that there isn't any such thing as walled gardens that will survive, or sub-networks [such as AOL tried] that are going to survive, those people are doomed. The intersection of these worlds is going to be chaotic. It's going to be violent. It's going to be messy for a while but it is going to happen, and the Internet will survive as the one open platform. You are going to see a trend towards extreme innovation at the edges - on the devices, in the PC platform, in software, all around the edge of the Internet.

I think that you are only going to see further disruption of the telecom industry and the emergence of totally new businesses that we can't imagine today. I think that [the] net result, that drives me every day, is that we're going to have this very rich, open, cheap and accessible communications. This is going to be not just a game changer for the telecom industry, but will be a change agent for all of humanity. So, a platform that allows us all to see each other and hear each other more clearly maybe makes us a little bit less crazy, less polarized and more open as a world society.

Good stuff... and the whole interview is worth a read. Given my recent criticism of Skype, I'm particularly pleased to read the comments I emphasized in bold. Jonathan Christensen will be giving one of the keynotes at eComm 2008, March 12-14 in Silicon Valley and if you haven't considered going, I would encourage you to do so. It should be a great event!

P.S. I also wrote about this interview in relation to SIP over on Voxeo's "Speaking of Standards" blog.

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