Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Middle and the End

There are two posts on VoIP this morning which I want to report.
One brings to me the vision of the "Middle" I predicted for Skype and this is

Cup is Half Empty

By Aswath Rao

"An updated statistics is now available from Skype (ignore the linear growth; assume no intermediate data has been plotted) and the usual round of wow is going around. Even Om is welling up and it is safe to predict that his heart will be fluttering with the release of the next round of statistics.
First a summary of the statistics that we are told so far:

Registered number of users: 35M to 40M
Concurrent users online at any time: 2M to 3M
Number of Skype minutes in a month day: 40M to 50M minutes

A decidedly trouble maker’s interpretation of these numbers:

Less than 10% of users are online at any given time, thereby reducing the “network effect” tremendously. But wait. This is good, because this means users need voice mail, a subscription service.

So a user is generating an average of less than 2 minutes per month day. Alternatively, most of the users are using Skype for text chat (because they are searching for the headset, generalizing from personal experience).

Phil is very conservative in his predictions. A Skypist (as opposed to a Skype user, known as Skyper) should hope to see at least 80% users online at any given time. Of course, the number of minutes served must be aleph-0, not any finite number (since google is spoken for). "

This is the potential of VoIP as Mass Market product, still not bad,it is better to have a huge cup half empty than a very small completely full.
Of course it also depends the money you have invested to reach that goal.
With no doubt a very small cup needs also a very small investment.
And in percentage, a revenue of 100% is MUCH BETTER than 50%.

The end comes following another post:

What impact will P2PSIP have on VoIP Peering

By Eric Lagerway

"According to Stealth Communications their VoIP Peering technology could put ILECs out of business. I would think that P2PSIP would have a similar impact and potentially more significant. If end points were smart enough not to need a "super node" or alike costs could be reduced dramatically and features could be, for the most part, maintained. Easier said than done.
In a conversation I had with an industry stakeholder I asked the same question and he commented "P2PSIP is nearing a point where product creation using the technology might make sense although features like voicemail would likely have to be delivered by way of a centralized service."

Which to me makes sense, I am not sure I would want my voicemail stored on someone else's computer."

As I already said: Mr or Mrs VC, I would be very cautious to make a long term investment in something that has short term revenues.
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