Skype+eBay: a retrospect from within
Let’s look back at what really happened a week ago, how it was received within Skype and what we make of it. First things first, we now have a [FAQ](http://www.skype.com/company/news/ebayfaq.html) to answer some of the questions we received through the past week.
]]>It’s not an overstatement to say that the eBay announcement on Sep 12 was a bit unexpected to many within Skype. Most of the staff learned of it at the very same moment as the press and the rest of the world, 11 a.m. London time. Those in the know before were only the ones dealing directly with finalizing the paperwork and preparing and publishing the news. And when you’re trained for two years that we don’t comment on rumors and are used to disregarding them, and now it comes to your face that one of the former rumors is actually a fact, it just requires you to stop for a second to regain the breath. (And it’s a good thing to not waste time on rumors. They come and go, dozen a day, and for most of us, they are totally irrelevant in our daily work.)
There is something that we’ve learned as a business. You need to be prepared for change, and news happen fast. However, there’s much less change here than might be expected at a first glance. A large part of the deal is that we continue on the same track, remain true to our callers and it’s “business as usual”. As [Ross described](http://ross.typepad.com/blog/2005/09/business_as_usu.html), no one was wasted or hysterically overjoyed by the afternoon, because we had work to do. Although there indeed was a fun get-together that night at most of our locations to celebrate the occasion.
So was there something to celebrate? Plenty. We think at the end of the day, the deal is good news for our Skype callers, who are the people that matter most. This doesn’t mean that we know exactly what is going to happen and everything has been set down in detail. There are a lot of loose ends, or scenarios, or challenges, or opportunities, whatever you want to call them. But we know that a large part of the deal focuses on Skype maintaining everything that is good about it, such as its own product and identity. We actually received feedback that these aspects of the acquisition were not too clear to many users, and this is why we compiled an [eBay-Skype FAQ](http://www.skype.com/company/news/ebayfaq.html) to clarify matters. When big news happen, you could always stop doing anything useful and worry yourself to death about the unresolved nitty-gritty details that you know will actually settle themselves over time, or you could just continue on the path you’ve chosen, and the latter is what we are doing.
Something wacko — the news was apparently known to some New York taxi drivers way before the announcement. I kid you not — the week before the announcement, we received a comment in our Customer Support from some [NYC taxi driver](http://www.gabby.com/) about eBay acquiring Skype, and we downplayed this as a rumor, which is what it still was for us at that time. The taxi driver replied “look gentlemen, you may disregard it all you want, but I know the facts since I just gave a ride to some eBay execs who discussed exactly what would be happening”. Can’t validate if the story is really true, but looking back, it turned out to be true and funny nevertheless.
So now what? Not much, really. Skype remains Skype and continues to develop its little program that lets you make free calls over the Internet, and everything around it. Again, see the [FAQ](http://www.skype.com/company/news/ebayfaq.html) for some clarifications, and feel free to send further comments or questions our way.