Monday, September 12, 2005

eBay Buys Skype: When Money Burns Your Pocket

Well ebay has signed up to buy Skype for between $2.6 to $4.1 billion dollars.

The CEO for Skype is 33 years old I believe. Can you say blessed? I'm happy for him and his descendants.

Yes, I still hate the deal because it is even more clearer how ebay is going to integrate Skype to the detriment of its customers but not without showing the same customers that they really do not need ebay , PayPal, or Skype unless they want to work with them.

ebay plans on charging buyers and sellers to communicate to each other via conversations conducted online computer to computer.

This simple strategy is really stupid since e-mail conversations are sufficient.

But the new game is to charge sellers (for Skype inquiries leading to potential sales) who buy advertising from ebay just like from Google (with its keywords format) but within a Yellow Pages style format instead. It is called pay-per-call versus pay-per-click.

So they are really selling leads now that essentially have been free on ebay if potential customers made contact with the sellers.

All of this tells me that ebay knows that its past strategy is really game over within North America at a minimum.

What ebay really wants the capability to do is to charge for e-mail;) This would solve their problem better than buying Skype will.

Immediately tonight I changed my Skype profile to not use any information that has been used with ebay or PayPal.

Since I already have been using Gizmo Project and its free capability to make even international calls computer to computer. So who needs Skype?

I know that Gizmo Project is going on the block to be sold and I think that Microsoft may have an inroad to make a purchase.

ebay likes the network effect or the "piling on" effect as I call it. After the innovators and early adopters choose a product or service, the rest of society suddenly jumps on the bandwagon because the feature suddenly gets a new round of media coverage. Most have said that the fax technology increased in value with each purchase of another fax machine. But Skype has been free essentially until this deal goes through.

Only the current uninformed masses have the capability to make the network or piling on effect happen though and not ebay . This deal is like buying the golden egg versus the goose that lays the golden eggs.

So ebay goes out and buys Skype for this golden egg capability.

What ebay or some other creative company really needs to do in order to get a new mega round of customers is to start buying and/or becoming an outsource provider of solid, professional, customer service for major corporations.

Oops, but in order to provide customer service to other companies---you have to have decent customer service for yourself. ebay has failed within this category shortly after it went public and clearly after it bought PayPal. PayPal has not been the same after it was acquired by ebay .

The customer service component of businesses worldwide is still lacking and forces customers to spend time and money to get the great service that they originally thought they were buying.

But the buck does not stop there. With the growing visibility of RSS and Atom feeds, XML, and RSS readers, all buyers and sellers are immediately empowered to conduct business on their own terms regardless of what websites have acted as clearinghouses before.

Even PayPal is not really needed as a payment processing method either. There are companies that will allow individuals to create merchant accounts just as easily as businesses have opened merchant accounts in the past. To even reduce potential losses due to fraud, there are many other payment options available that will keep your information as secure as the major companies are offering or better.

So the only people that will use the current brand name services are those who are most susceptible to believe everything that they see advertised. If you are easily programmed, then these companies are more than willing to reduce the load on your wallet or purse;)

There is a segment of ebay sellers who will lose deeply if past history provides any indication within the short to intermediate term of the post Skype acquisition.

ebay sellers who are either new to selling online, minorities, introverted, and/or without great real-time communications skills will see their sales suffer if the expectation of being fully able to contact sellers overwhelmingly increases.

Not that minorities have poor communication skills by any means, but racism will undoubtedly become a part of transactions as a characteristic ebay has not taken into consideration in its purchase of Skype.

As one old internet cliche' goes, "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog" as one cartoon featured a canine using a desktop computer.

The willingness to conduct business without racism has been a clear plus of the internet and online commerce but this ebay -Skype deal is going to push the internet into a realm that will not benefit anyone.

I can see a reverse-integration to self-segregation on the part of minority communities though. Many people will then use Skype to create relationships and conduct business without ebay even more. So ebay really has bought the gun, bullets, drugs, and alcohol to commit suicide on its own terms.
Can you hear me now?

I have been working myself to create a solution to enable people to conduct business at a faster pace than previously imagined. The only hurdle that we have recently faced is to create a solution to assist within the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.

We have finally found a particular niche that we have seen unfilled. We have really sought to not reinvent the wheel as found elsewhere and now believe that we will have something publicly available to really make a difference.

But to the companies with money burning your pockets, just check out Quantum Concierge because it is going to make the eBay-Skype deal look like a newbie buyer who suddenly finds out that there are more options for people than previously imagined.

I do not know if Quantum Concierge can be sold at a discount as Skype or to an eager buyer like eBay yet though;) If it does, then after getting some therapy and making several huge donations and contributions, we will take on any and all comers like eBay head on;)