Just before the lunch, Meelik Gornoi from Skype took the stage on the second day of Spark.me conference which is taking place in Montenegro. Gornoi opened up his lecture by saying that although Skype is now a decade old, they are still fairly young therefore some things are being managed in a startup-like way.
He gave an insight into how to company got started, saying that Skype was established in Estonia back in the spring of 2003. Its founders were trying to solve an emerging problem of global communication via Internet and in April of 2003. they first committed themselves to writing code. Because the problem was so huge and their product so revolutionary, Skype managed to acquire over 2 million users one year from the initial launch.
In the September of 2005. the company was acquired by eBay for 4.5 billion dollars which was an insane amount money for a company that didn’t even existed for two years at that time. Soon afterwards, Skype launched Video calling which really kicked off as a new medium for global communication.
However, just couple of years in the acquisition Skype was bought back, and instead of filing for IPO it was acquired by another tech giant – Microsoft. Today the company is serving more than 2 billion minutes of conversation a day and some 300 million users are using it on monthly basis.
Three Steps Towards Success
Gornoi also pointed out three key factors that are (in his opinion) absolutely critical when it comes to building a successful startup:
- Focus on the things you do best, make sure you follow your heart and that you are really passionate about the product you’re developing
- Make mistakes while you are still young, it’s a part of the learning curve. Be agile, adapt fast.
- Have fun with your coworkers, go out for a beer, organize dinners. When things get ugly in the company, your relationships are the only thing stopping that “ship from sinking”.