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Why serious IP techies don't "get" eBay-Skype

The Fall 2005 Von show starts in earnest today here in Boston. Yes, that was room service with breakfast..

The Fall 2005 Von show starts in earnest today here in Boston. Yes, that was room service with breakfast..

Last night at the opening reception, I asked a cross-section of workaday (as opposed to visionary) techies what they think about eBay buying Skype.

To a person, they all said: "huh?"

"Huh" as in, yea they have heard about it..but what's the deal here.

Being trained as a sociologist, I immediately assigned two reasons for this line of thought:

The eBay-Skype deal is not a technology deal. It is a marketing and ecommerce deal. Marketing and e-commerce strategies are alien concepts to people more concerned about the plumbing that makes IP Telephony work.

There's more than just a Venus-Mars difference between the tech and marketing mindsets. Venus-Oort Cloud would be more like it.

Also, I gotta tell you, among this crowd there's a good bit of snobbiness toward Skype. Jealousy is part of it, sure, but so much of the VoIP world that shows up at this show is enterprise-solutions centric. Skype is seen by them as a consumer brand, irrelevant to their business models and just not worth the mental bandwidth thinking about.

Can you spell.. L-I-N-E-A-R? Guess math, programming and network geniuses are that way.