Tuesday, September 13, 2005

After sales service

Morgan Stanley held a lunch today in London for eBay and Skype, and eBay kindly placed the webcast here, and I'm listening to it now. Punchy introduction from Mary Meeker by phone from China, who uses the term "killer app." Niklas sounds a lot more comfortable and fluid than on yesterday's call. He just said that following the announcement of the deal yesterday, Skype had 1,000 downloads per minute, a new record. (You can check that for yourself in the Share Skype statistics RSS feeds, for now at least. My observation shows 48m minutes yesterday, which is likely a record as far as my data shows.) It sounds to me like both Meg Whitman's and Rajiv Dutta's explanations of deal rationale are also a lot better this time around. Both executives have alluded to having worked with Niklas and Janus for months ahead of the deal, which makes me wonder what was really going on with some of the other buzz around potential deals. As I expected, the questions turn out to be interesting this time, because the audience is fund managers rather than analysts. The first one from the floor is on weakness of traffic trends (wonder where that came from?), and seems to be an awkward moment. Anyway, as I said traffic is up in the past few days, though it still looks low to me versus historic levels, despite the fact that the user base has grown so quickly. I still don't understand this.

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