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June 16, 2005
The Skype Brand
I attended an interesting session at the Reboot 7 conference in Copenhagen at the weekend. Malthe Sigurdsson, from Skype, did a talk about how they built the brand, which he blogged here, with a pdf of his slides here and an MP3 audio recording here.
I was struck by the principles Malthe articulated: do simple things really well; release all the time (ie keep updating the application in small bites); evolve; open up; and viral features. A good illustration of the idea of simplicity is their preference for plain language - so talk about sharing and calls, not peer-to-peer and VOIP or telephony. Bearing in mind Skype has about 45 million registered withouth advertising, I think it's a pretty interesting case study.
One of the things that he said that caught my attention was what he said about fear. They do fear their competitors (eg the big telecoms)... and that makes them stay busy innovating. I like the notion of acknowledging fear and using it, instead of blocking it.
It seems to me that Skype is a brand with a lot of vitality - and this presentation makes good sense of how it operates.
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