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Skype is a Classic

Skype is a classic. At this point, I say that because they’re the original. The industry of online communication has exploded and Skype was the first big-name associated with it. I don’t think  I’ll ever separate the two in my mind. It even became part of our everyday language. You would say things like Skype me about it or I’ll Skype you later tonight.

Actually when I think about that, I don’t feel like you hear those as often anymore. Is that how people perceive them that they’re on their way out or at least not anywhere near the level they once were?

Skype has had an interesting journey that I want to break up into three distinct stages. In the first stage, they were independent; growing from nothing to a multi-billion dollar valued company. In the second stage, they were owned by eBay and in the third stage they were owned by Microsoft.

That third stage might be the most controversial. Does anyone remember because it was one of those decentralized peer-to-peer music file sharing websites very similar to Napster? They would connect people directly to each other rather than going through a centralized server. Simply put, they were all just ways for everyone to download music for free because that was created over in Europe by these two guys from Sweden; Niklas Zennström and Denmark; Janus Friis.

Niklas had a degree in Business Administration and Engineering physics and spent three years working for a Swedish telecommunications company. So, I’d say he had a good foundation for this because Skype was launched toward the beginning of 2001. Actually only four months before Napster was forced to shut down and if you can imagine the copyright laws attached to these songs made operating these companies very difficult. It was constant legal battles.

By the end of 2001, I imagine these two either didn’t see much of a future for the company or simply didn’t want to deal with the non-stop legal battle. So, by the end of that year they sold Quezada an Australian company called Charmin Networks. Right after they sold it, those two men went on to start Skype, and can I take a minute to point out the similarities between Quezada and Skype. They both operate on this decentralized peer-to-peer model. In both cases, there’s nothing between the users. It’s just a direct connection in one. In one case, the users they’re sharing their music, and then in the other case they’re just sharing their voices.

In fact, the last two letters of Skype are short for peer-to-peer. The PE part was originally referred to as sky peer-to-peer which was shortened to Skyper and then of course down to Skype. If it was my decision, I think I would have stuck with Skyper as a cool sound to it but I suspect they saw value in having that catchy one-syllable name.

The actual service of Skype was first offered as a beta version in August of 2003 and was instantly a success. Stayed over a million registered users by the end of that year. It’s because they had such a great business model that allowed them to grow. There were three main parts to it. I think that most would agree the most important part was offering their service for free. Just thanked for any small business, they would be almost guaranteed to attract some customers giving away the product for free.

The obvious issue with that is you can’t afford to give away too much of your product. But. Skype didn’t have to worry about that. The peer-to-peer nature of their service meant they didn’t have to pay for servers or bandwidth or whatever you would expect them to have to pay for. So, unlike most businesses, they were able to serve additional users without adding additional costs which proved to be a great way to build a strong user base. To go along with that, word-of-mouth

Advertising, can be so effective and this was a perfect service for it because it required two people to use it. Just an example, if you were going to call me later, maybe I’ll recommend you download Skype and we could talk that way because it’ll save us some money. Right there, there’s a new Skype user, and then maybe they’ll tell someone else about it. Meanwhile, Skype is getting all this advertising for free.

Also, for the third part, they did have some costs. They were a business after all. But, they even had an alternative way to cover those. They would pay for them by selling portions of the company to private investors. Now, the new question is why would that private investor be interested? What would the payoff be for them? They invested with the promise that Skype would add paid services eventually and start collecting some money. The idea that the money’s not here now but it will be here soon.

So, to summarize all of that for almost a year Skype collected no revenue but was able to build their user base to millions of people. Once they were established in July of 2004, they finally launched their paid service. It was called Skype out and it would allow customers to call people that weren’t on Skype. Less than a year later, they launched the opposite service called Skype. That allowed customers to receive calls from people that weren’t on Skype.

They still weren’t profitable but now they were bringing in millions of dollars in sales and that’s better. Those sales along with a rapidly growing user base attracted the attention of eBay which leads us to our second stage. In 2005, Skype was acquired by eBay of her 2.6 billion dollars. Half of it in cash and the other half was on eBay stock which I have to admit sounds a little pricey for a two-year-old company with sales of around sixty million dollars that wasn’t even turning a profit 2.6 billion dollars.

That’s hard to justify but as I said if they were growing fast, so they must have figured it was worth the premium also. They felt confident that they’d be able to integrate it into their online auctions sort of opening communications between the buyers and the sellers and hopefully making the process run a little smoother. PayPal is the other company that comes to mind. eBay ought them a few years earlier with similar intentions of integrating it into their auctions and making the process run smoother. I wouldn’t say this worked out in the way they envisioned.

Here, when you buy something on eBay, do you really want to talk to or for heaven’s sake video chat with the person who sold it to you? Why would you really just talk through emails and that’s enough. Those emails proved to be the preferred method for eBay communications. So, Skype didn’t turn out to be especially valuable for their service.

Then in 2009, four years later, eBay sold about 70% of Skype to a private investment firm called Silver Lake partners for the price of 1.9 billion which did value the company at around two point seven five billion which is similar to what they bought it. They did overpay when they bought it.

Overpaying is a good transition into their third stage because in 2011 Microsoft bought 100 percent of Skype for the price of 8.56 billion dollars in cash valuing them at over three times higher than the deal. Two years earlier, it was actually Microsoft’s largest acquisition until they bought LinkedIn in 2016. When this deal happened, most people were saying that they seriously overpaid for it and from a financial standpoint, it’s hard to argue.

The year before Skype did have 860 million dollars in revenue but it resulted in an 8 million dollar loss still Skype did not make any money from the beginning and they always did a good job in generating business but it always had a hard time turning a profit. It helped them build almost 700 million dollars in debt as well. So, it made everyone question why Microsoft saw them to be so valuable at the time of the sale?

Skype CEO who was then in charge of that division under Microsoft, said together we will be able to accelerate Skype scold to reach 1 billion users daily. That was a far-off goal because they were currently at about 65 million monthly users so that makes me think that the premium was based on expected growth from the free service which among other things can potentially translate to more paying customers which was somewhere between 8 and 9 million per month at the time.

Another reason for the acquisition was to complement Windows Live Messenger formerly called MSN Messenger. In 2011, it actually had far more active monthly users than Skype. Somewhere around 300 million. Soon after the acquisition, they made it possible for the users of the two services to communicate with each other, and then years later, they discontinued Windows Live Messenger and sort of shoved all those users on to Skype. They also did a very similar thing with Lync. It was a similar service but specialized for business use within a company. Microsoft integrated the two and then in 2015 rebranded linked as Skype for business and then now Skype for business is being replaced by Microsoft teams and that’s a whole other thing.

Earlier in that same year Microsoft had announced that Nokia phones would primarily use it and then two years later they actually acquired Nokia altogether. It was all considered to be a bit disastrous but maybe integrating the Skype app into those phones in some way could be a good way to utilize it. It’s also a popular belief that they bought Skype partially as a defensive move.

Google, Facebook, Cisco were all thought to be considering it. So, Microsoft came in and took it for themselves before any of them had a chance. When it comes down to it, the purchase was a bit of a gamble. But, they had some unique uses for it. In some, high expectations. When it came to growing their user base, I don’t have a perfect answer as to whether or not it was a smart decision by Microsoft or eBay.

For that matter, I can say that they did both help grow the Skype name but maybe not enough. I can see how some would consider this a failure.

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Quarantine Relationship Advice

In this write-up we discuss about quarantine effects on relationships. First, we consider when you are single and then we’ll go into people who are in relationships. What I’ve noticed about it is it’s pretty actually and pretty problematic at times.

One of the things that I want to bring up for single people is, this is a great time for dating apps and conversations with women. It is really getting good at conversating with women. Online dating is a really crucial step because how many of you are really thankful for the internet right now during quarantine, right?

It’s given me so much a different level of respect for just the Internet in general and sometimes we’ve been able, we’ve probably taken it for granted. I need to do the social media break but then it’s also like there’s also beauty and things right and it’s really important that we look at this as a beyond; a conceptional mindset and just thinking of it as like okay this is a great time for me to just really talk to women and see what’s out there, have conversations with women because this is how we connect.  With men it is like conversations; how does he going to make me feel comfortable? Do we have things in common and then imagine when quarantine is over and you guys can’t wait till we see each other, your connection is going to be so much more knighted, then it would be than just a three day and then see each other on a date and then maybe you’re connected or not. This is a valuable time to do so.

Another thing is identifying what it is that you want in a relationship or and work on embodying this right. So, for example, a lot of times there’s men that are telling me I’ve never but dated before, there are men that have dated plenty of women and it just can’t find the right one and there are times where I ask men that and it’s a happen.

Often, I ask men like what is your type of woman and typically we go into the physical level right away and this is so. So, what’s the word I’m looking for so? So, like understandable. I could say for men and it’s because if we don’t understand how the human mind works for a man then we just don’t understand man and it’s so important that we understand that when it comes to attraction and love.

A lot of men operate from the prefrontal cortex which is vision. How aesthetically how was a woman right? That’s the first way that a man gets turned on or sometimes attracted to a woman. Aesthetically women are completely different. At times, typically when they’re younger, they’ll like a very attractive good-looking guy or they’ll you know look at a good-looking guy but it doesn’t mean that that has to be our boyfriend because they’re good-looking. It’s totally different.

What it’s really valuable for men to do and this is when you start getting good at identifying the group the better. Women for you is understanding and identifying what it is that you want. So, standards are really important values.

When you go into dating and relationships, all right let’s see if this woman has been honest with you since day one, is she open-minded, does she think and does she tell you what she’s thinking, is the mindset of men. At times, there are women out there that do.

Next, identify your values so you can get clear in them when you wouldn’t. Next, is being comfortable with yourself. We can’t fake an attraction like that’s the thing. What’s really important is that we understand in a mind of a woman when we feel a little off, we can’t connect and you’re kind of like withdrawn a little bit and we stick back right.  So, getting comfortable with yourself is really important.

Now, in regards to relationships, let’s go into that now. What does this mean for your relationships? Many couples are getting in so many arguments right now with their loved ones, with their spouses and this is a time for us to challenge each other because we’re so used to go  9:00 to 5:00; my husband’s not home, but I’m home. But, now he’s here and now he’s trying to control my normal routine and it just throws us off right?

So, communication and relationships are going to be key. One of the biggest things couples don’t understand here is that in our relationships, we should get a schedule and what we do here at home is I have a set time where I’m typically in my office, I come out, I’ll do lunch. If he’s doing lunch, I’ll do lunch with him and then we go back to our separate rays like separate sides of the home, different rooms.

Whatever the case, maybe if you can do that and then at night, we come together right, so it gives us that time to really focus on other people, to focus our into machines, to focus on ourselves, to focus on my business and it really works. We don’t work out together as much unless we are not spending as much time together. Then, we’ll start working out together. So. I would really recommend to for some days when you’re in quarantine, to go out with your partner and work out with them. But, then some days to do it by yourself as well it’s really important.

I think during this time that we get okay with our own oneness right and we have that time alone and that solitude also too a lot of times we can lead to expectations and I want you guys to remember as you know because I work with them a lot and we men operate differently instinctually and so women kind of are really an emotional state of like I have to protect my family, I have to protect my children, I have to protect, I have to protect, I have to protect and when they get there, they want the man to feel like alright, you’re right honey; we have to protect but also to and the masculine presence sometimes a man can be like don’t worry sweetheart everything’s going to be okay and I’m sure a lot of you are really connecting to what I’m saying right now and then she gets mad at you for doing that.

This is happening so much even with my friends and their marriages and things like that. You have to understand that women are totally different than a man’s operations of thinking. Sometimes, it takes a man a lot longer to get into that nurturing aspect. That’s his way of protecting things and then a woman sees it as you’re not taking it that seriously right?

It takes men time. Women do get emotionally triggered in times like this. So, when it happens in your relationship or if it happened in your relationship, find out why.

When you get in the argument, sweetheart I know you’re upset with me right now, but help me understand why and how I’m making you feel this way. So, if we can understand that when we get into an argument with our partner usually it’s because our other partner not only pissed us off right but also it’s because we just want to be heard. A lot of times when people argue they’re in that state. It’s because they feel like they’re not being heard. So, the best thing that you can do is offer because then when you offer than she’s going to hopefully hear you out as well and there’s a lot of things that can happen with the children and schooling at home.

So, there is a lot of pressure I would say get on a schedule and try to chime in also to do things like tic-toc videos, board games with your children or if it’s just you and her and you’re just in a life where you’re just your dogs and no children. This is a time to also do so right and experience those fun things together. Cooking together, putting on music, starting your day with music instead of the news.

Another thing I want to talk about is like for example, if there was somebody that was dating somebody and you really like them and then all of a sudden that’s happened and you can’t see them again and you’re like is attraction going to be lost and this person going to love me? Am I going to really lose this person? If we get into that fearful state, then you will lose that person because then we’re going to start overcompensating and calling FaceTime and we’re not going to let that woman breathe because we’re in a state of lack and we’re not asking authentic.

This is probably the moment where she can actually sit back and be like damn, I really like this guy because she can’t even date anybody else. She’s at home. We as humans want attention. We thrive from connection. We want the affection. We want to feel validated. We want to feel loved at times. So, what makes you think that she will lose attraction for you unless you get into flight or fright mode when I talk about into the scarcity mind it and you don’t come from abundance then this is when we can kind of kill the relationship because you were also a rock for her as well as she should be for you.

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