Skype Journal Test

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Bush/McCain economy is good for Skype

Bush/McCain by you.The U.S. misery index is up. Unemployment is at a five year high. The US dollar is at a generational low. Home loans are hard to get and usurious if you get them. College is out of reach for millions. Petrol so expensive that people aren't traveling, are rethinking location decisions like where they work and live, how often they visit family, are cutting shopping trips and buying more online.

This is good for Skype adoption in the United States.

Cheap is Skype's gateway drug.

We substitute onlife communication for costly local and long distance travel. Telecommuting, conference calling, and team chats replace hauling your sorry atoms to meetings. 

We reinforce relationships with family and close friends as financial threats loom large. Safety in numbers, strength in tribes, even at a distance.

We look hard at our monthly spending. Compared to PSTN landlines, $5/month for 10,000 minutes in the US & Canada and a SkypeIn number looks like a lifeline. Hundreds of dollars kept in your wallet. Small businesses, also feeling economic pain, are setting up Skype and Vosky PBX-to-Skype gateways to save. Good feelings in bad times can bank loyalty money can't buy.

Will next month's 2008-Q3 numbers support the theory? We'll see.

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At September 6, 2008 at 7:25 AM , Anonymous aaytch said...

The title and first paragraph of this article is journalism at its worst.

Let's start with the "misery index", which has ranged from a high of 21.98 under Jimmy Carter to a low of 5.71 reached in just in the 3rd quarter of 2006... under GW Bush. The fact that it is now at 11.30 is unremarkable. To the extent that you might think the "misery" arises from preventable causes, then there's lots of blame to spread around both domestically and toward foreign powers. As for your observation about the US Dollar and oil prices, most analysts would say that the timing of your "red meat" statistics are offbeat. Both have recently reached major turning points and the long term trends are now very favorable. The funniest statistic you offer is cost of college education. Here I agree with you; it is going up endlessly, driven by greed, tax exemption and socialist largesse of every type. No Phil, the US economy is not unusually terrible, and if it were then it is not very much attributable to Bush, and much less of course to McCain.

The rest of your article is excellent: "Cheap is Skype's gateway drug." Skype enthusiasts continuously ponder why it continues to grow while disappointing both customers and developers with bad service. Answer: because its prices are absurdly low. People perceive, despite all its problems, that Skype is underpriced relative to its competitors... or that they are overpriced relative to Skype.

At September 6, 2008 at 1:27 PM , Anonymous Phil Wolff said...

@aaytch: "Both have recently reached major turning points and the long term trends are now very favorable."

Isn't that what happens when you hit bottom?

At September 6, 2008 at 1:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, this may not be the forum, but there seems to be a "self-delusion index" in play here.

If you don't think we are in worse shape as a county because of $400 billion spent on an unnecessary war, tax giveaways to corporations and the rich, gutting of our constitution, corruption on a grand scale, and other policies leading to the largest gap between the rich and the rest of us in a hundred years, then you are truly self-delusional. And if you don't think that the party of Bush/McCain, which has controlled the White House or Congress or both for 26 of the last 28 years, then -- well you get the idea.

At September 6, 2008 at 3:13 PM , Anonymous aaytch said...

"Isn't that what happens when you hit bottom?"

Yes, and by that logic Bush is to be blamed for the misery index in the 3rd quarter 2006 when it hit an all time low. Hey, it goes up and down, and right now it is neither at the top or the bottom. No story here.

As for self-delusion (the point by "anonymous"), the country was in terrible economic and political shape in the middle of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War. What's the point here? Without those wars, America and the freedom of its people wouldn't exist.

Let's consider the comment about the Republicans controlling "the White House or Congress or both for 26 of the last 28 years...". It sounds like the principal argument for "change" to Obama is simply that fairness demands it. Pretty weak.

What I love about Phil's article (NOT) is that a vote for Obama is portrayed as a vote to kill Skype, and that a vote for McCain is portrayed as a vote for the survival of Skype. Perhaps he is trying a little to hard to create a headline.

At September 6, 2008 at 5:40 PM , Anonymous Tropicaljantie said...

I think this is a little bit of hogwash, apologize my french... Skype is a subsidiary of eBay and Skype needs to make money. I think that in time of having less money, the spending will decrease. Also for skype. Skype is in trouble, because the have to give telephony away for free. I think that more users will come online and spend money on a faster internet-line, and not on for example skype out credit. The whole name of the game of being a skype user is not to spend anything and get everything for free. remember, sharing is good, free telephony for everybody.

At September 7, 2008 at 10:38 AM , Anonymous aaytch said...

Tropicaljantie (aka Jan) said "I think this is a little bit of hogwash".

Since hogwash is your specialty, I'll not dispute your point that we'll never again get good service or new features from Skype, but I will dispute the point that Skype is in serious trouble.

The fact is that Skype continues to grow and has a solid core of superior services whose marginal cost is extremely low. All they need to do is eliminate every extra service and feature whose marginal cost is high, and that is exactly what they are doing.

The question is whether Skype will allow independent developers, consultants, and suppliers to create opportunities for themselves within the Skype ecosystem. Such ventures will be the difference between Skype's success and its mere survival.


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