Thursday, November 18, 2004

The few, the proud, the Skype

Apologies to those not acquainted with past military recruitment campaign slogans from the US (in this case, the Marines). Just having a quick look around the Skype website this morning, I noticed that there is an extensive subsection of the jobs page devoted to giving a flavor of life at Skype. As with much of Skype's site, it manages to be both tongue-in-cheek and bombastic at the same time, but it is an interesting read. Given the cachet surrounding VoIP and Skype in particular, I wouldn't have expected there would be any need to make such a hard-sell. In the past I have posted on what you can infer from Skype's list of job vacancies, and assuming this page is up to date, it's interesting to see product manager positions in areas like embedded products, mobile, and desktop still unfilled, along with BizDev positions in several other strategic areas.

As already leaked to the press and reported by my man Andy, Skype today announced a partnership with Swiss peripherals giant Logitech to bundle 120 minutes of SkypeOut calls with Logitech USB headsets. This is another good partnership agreement for Skype, and may be a key accelerator of uptake, but from the outside it looks like Skype is focusing on the end-user (partnerships with peripherals developers) and distribution (the various ISP/portal partnerships) aspects. Is this "outside in" strategy a function of conscious planning, opportunism, or not enough players on the bench? Meanwhile, NimCat and Popular Telephony are taking the "inside out" approach, getting themselves ported to chips. As George Jones sang, "Now, the race is on, and here comes Pride up the backstretch."

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