Previous month:
October 2009
Next month:
January 2010

Posts from November 2009

Skype Finally Completes the "Undo" on the eBay Acquisition

skype_logo.pngCongrats to the folks at Skype for completing the sale of Skype from eBay to a group of investors. As Skype president Josh Silverman says in his post "Say hello to the future":
The investor group is led by Silver Lake, and includes Andreessen Horowitz, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Joltid Limited and our founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. The deal valued Skype at $2.75B US, with eBay retaining approximately 30% of Skype, and the investor group led by Silver Lake controlling the remaining 70%

Back when eBay purchased Skype in September 2005 (Was it really four years ago?!?), I and many others thought it was a strange move, and certainly the synergies that someone thought would be there never really seemed to materialize.

I'm delighted for the many friends I have at Skype that they are now "free" from the shackles of a large public company. I wish them all the best and, as I said back in my post in September...

Onward the disruption...

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either subscribing to the RSS feed or following me on Twitter or Dan can be found on Skype as "danyork".

Two years with Voxeo...

voxeologo.gifIt truly amazes me to realize that it's been over two years since I wrote that I was joining Voxeo. It's rather symptomatic of how well it is going with Voxeo that although I tweeted about this anniversary when it happened 4 weeks ago, I've just been way too busy to actually write anything about it here.

I had all these grand delusions, too, about how I was going to write about all the lessons I've learned... about some of the great things I've done... the people I've met... etc., etc.

But the reality is that I've simply learned way too much, done too many great things and met too many great people to easily write such a post.

So here's the short summary of what I've learned over two years:

Voxeo rocks!

It's a great place to work with tremendous benefits (and we're hiring)... there's a fantastic team of people involved... it's fun to be with a company on the bleeding edge of how communication is changing... that is this big massive SIP-based application cloud... that does disruptive things like give away speech recognition technology (and other products) for free... is focusing on innovation in communication and offering new cloud telephony platforms... and just took a $9 million strategic investment, not because the company had to but because it wanted to in order to seize opportunities and acquire more companies in this economy.

What's not to like?

Sure, we work long hours and have our share of crazy days... but even two years later I wake up each morning excited for the change I can be part of that day. THAT is a key for me...

And yeah, I head up Voxeo's marketing team, so you would expect me to say all this, right? But if so, you haven't been reading my blog long enough. Here and over on Disruptive Conversations I call it like it is... and if I don't have good things to say, I simply don't write it.

So I'm utterly amazed that two years have gone by... and I'm very much looking forward to the next two years... there are many more stories to tell... and I definitely look forward to telling them...

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either subscribing to the RSS feed or following me on Twitter or

Frontier continuing to move ahead with purchasing Verizon landline biz...

Given that I'm a Fairpoint customer, and wrote previously about Fairpoint's bankruptcy, I continue to watch with a bit of fascination the ongoing effort by Frontier to purchase Verizon's landline business in a range of other states. Recently, three more states approved Frontier's acquisition of Verizon's business. And Frontier continues to make assurances that it will somehow not wind up in the same situation as Fairpoint...

I still find the whole process bizarre. I do understand the fundamental motivation... here in the USA, there are only three wires going into (almost) every home:

  • electrical power line
  • phone line
  • cable television line

If you want to get your service into a home in the USA over a wire, you have to ride over one of those three wires. That's it.

So I can see the logic someone out there is thinking... he/she who controls a wire has a platform to launch services.

There are, though, two major problems I see:

1. WIRELESS, a.k.a. WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING WIRES - While there may be only three wires going into the home, there are a lot of wireless signals going into the home. While it may not have the performance of wired connections, I know a good number of folks who now have wireless Internet. And while much of this has traditionally been satellite-based, I'm seeing some folks going for the wireless WAN cards (or "air cards") offered by the cellular networks - and some of the newer laptops with this technology built right in. Plus you have to wonder about newer technologies like WiMAX should they ever start to really take off.

2. LANDLINES ARE LOSING - As I mentioned in my last post, US residents are leaving landlines behind. The NHIS survey I referenced showed the number of homes without landlines at over 20% - and increasing rapidly. My own perception based on comments from people around me is that the cable companies are eating the telcos' lunches when it comes to signing up new people. I need to pull some stats to back up that view - but anecdotally I'm finding more people signing up for cable Internet (often as part of a "triple play") and I haven't heard of anyone in recent times signing up for DSL from their phone company. To me, I just can't see the landline business as a great place to be these days... but obviously some folks out there think they can somehow magically make it work. I wish them luck.

What do you think? Would you invest in the landline business in 2009?

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either subscribing to the RSS feed or following me on Twitter or