Skype, Estonia, technology and Sten Tamkivi
Sten writes about his move to Andreessen Horowitz to take up a new role as Entrepreneur in residence, and looks back on his eight-and-a-bit years at Skype:
Of the quite few global teams I had the privilege to lead, I’ll most fondly look back at two product groups: the sometimes insane experiments to invent non-telecom revenue streams for Skype (remember SkypePrime, SkypeFind, Skypecasts, anyone?) and the highly controversial design revamp of our flagship Windows and Mac clients in 2008. The latter created borderline civil unrest among loyal users, yet took the measurable user engagement metrics and share of video calling minutes through the roof. Disruption — of even itself — has been at Skype’s core since it was born.
He also talks of the role of Skype in continuing to shape Estonia’s public technology and innovation mindset – also explored in more detail in this video from his time at Stanford, The Future That Should Be Here Now:
He’ll be missed this side of the Atlantic – but I’m increasingly of the view that the world, whether thanks to Skype or thanks to our changing perceptions of distance, remains a very small place indeed. His influence and sense of humour won’t have any problems spanning the distance.