Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Skype

There is no doubt about it, Skype was an absolute game-changer. They made it possible for people to use the Internet to communicate both online and on standard phone networks using voice. Gone are the days of needing to use a standard chat client like AIM or ICQ (although many people still do use them), Skype ushered in a new era.

I’ve been using Skype since the days of beta and have relied on them heavily for communicating with clients, co-workers, and friends across the globe. They really made communication possible where it was once too expensive to be a regulate everyday thing.

I appreciated what Skype did and the impact they made. There were a lot of wonderful and talented people behind Skype that made the magic that happens behind-the-scenes all possible. Then Microsoft acquired Skype for 8.5 billion dollars and rather than thanking the employees, the folks who built the company into what it is today, they gave them the ultimate slap in the face.

So Skype employees had stock options, like most startups offer their employees. Many people love the startup environment because rather than just having a job, you’re actually part of something and get to share in the success together. Well it turns-out that Skype had a very unfair employment contract and after the acquision the company decided to do what I honestly think is the unthinkable. They completely nullified the value of the all the options and shares that employees had acquired since working there.

That’s right, Skype employees got screwed, in a major way. Who would have thought in a million years that if the company was a success and bought-out by a major player like Microsoft, suddenly their options would be worth nothing! I think this is an unforgivable move and I’m someone who is pretty darn forgiving in almost every situation but this is just ridiculous.

So I’m throwing in the towel and looking for a new solution. At the end of the day it doesn’t feel right to use a product that was built by so many people who were completely left-out of the success when the company finally got its big payday. Now my question is, who should I use? Is Google Talk the next big thing? Is there room for a new player to enter the market?

Comment and let your voice be heard. What service can we all use to kick Skype to the curb and and help make a new champion in the space?

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Kevin Davis July 4, 2011, 8:14 pm

    Once you get on Google + there will be no need for skype and you can video chat with 10 ppl at once.I will send you an invite if you want Morgan.Happy 4th ,Kevin

    Reply
  • David Lahoti July 4, 2011, 8:24 pm

    Wow! Is this the work of Microsoft or is this a characteristic of Skype pre-buyout?

    Reply
  • Ed July 4, 2011, 8:26 pm

    You might as well say good bye to Facebook.

    Reply
  • Leonard Britt July 4, 2011, 8:42 pm

    Not tech or domaining related but a phenomenal read “Pushing Up People” by Art Williams about a startup which became an industry leader by treating its people right…

    Reply
  • Domain Roast July 4, 2011, 8:45 pm

    Morgan, great article…you are a true American. Google circles offers great group streaming options…and best of all it is free. Wipe Skype and join our hangout at Google Circles…lolz….Kev

    Reply
  • Forum Domini July 4, 2011, 9:43 pm

    @Morgan Linton
    It really depends on what kind of features you need.
    I’ve never really used Skype so much as I just use voip to make long distance calls (for text chats there are plenty of choices). Skype was cheap for intl. voip calls but there were cheaper ones.

    I’ve been using justvoip .com from a company called Dellmont Sarl (They were once known as Betamax Gmbh, I don’t know if they changed name/jurisdiction or they sold the company). Quality of calls is quite good. You can call other members of the service free if you know their username. But on this kind of things they are not so fancy as Skype.

    Nowadays you can make calls or video-calls with any messaging tool, so it really depends on your use. Now it seems also Facebook will have it (I don’t use FB) but you might think twice about it as they are supported by Microsoft and Skype itself.

    Probably the thing really competing with Skype is Google Talk as you mentioned above.

    Reply
  • Ace July 4, 2011, 10:09 pm

    Honestly speaking, 8.5 billion is a very large amount to NOT share with the employees. BTW I never used Skype anyway, now all the more reason not to. And no I do not use Facebook either. Nor do I live in a basement 🙂

    Reply
  • Andrei July 4, 2011, 11:43 pm

    this sounds like post-Capitalism socialistic propaganda. Guys who built and managed Skype getting good salaries and social packages. They not running away from Skype after acquisition. I cut my tongue because I said bad things to somebody.

    Reply
  • WPHead July 5, 2011, 12:51 am

    I would go with google voice. You can port your current number to google and you can get a free second number as well. But the main reason I use google voice is that I can text and access voicemail from any device.

    Reply
    • Morgan July 5, 2011, 8:54 am

      Thanks for all the great comment and recommendations everyone. I think Google Voice will be my choice going forward, I’ll make sure to update everyone and let you know how it goes!

      Reply
  • majed July 6, 2011, 3:36 am

    hi Kevin Davis,

    i tried to signup for google+ but it seems it require an invitation.

    if you have a spare invitation that you dont need, can you send it to me please 🙂

    to my email : majed {at} majed {dot} com

    thank you so much 🙂

    Reply
  • Marc OK July 6, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I feel bad for these guys, but the take away is: always read the contract! Most people don’t lol. I think a lot of employees and prospective employees in the Valley adopted a entitlement mentality based on the good fortunes of many in the pre-bubble 90’s. However, one thing that has not changed (not matter what happened in the Valley in the past) is that corporations are in the business of enriching shareholders, not employees. Sadly, “ignorance is no excuse” applies in this case. The Skype options agreement did have a, very unusual, “Call” provision. The time to negotiate that provision was *before* agreeing to it (becoming an employee), not after leaving the company. Saying “I’d never work for Skype if I had known” when the employee had the contract right in front of him is really disingenuous. I don’t like it any more than the next guy, but I would have to agree with this attorney’s analysis (starting about the middle of the page):
    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/28/defending-skype-and-private-equity/
    -MOK

    Reply

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