• By focusing on the trajectories of some of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of our time, Andrews and Wood remind us of the immense transformative power of individuals relative to governments and other institutions.

    Yves Tiberghien

Übercast: High Technology

Niklas Zennström

Niklas Zennström
  • Born: 1966, Järfälla, Sweden
  • Education: BSc (Business Admin), MSc (Eng Physics), Uppsala University
  • Organisation: Skype
  • Website: Atomico
  • Image credit: Phil Wolff

Observing the looming battle between circuit-switched telephony services and Internet telephony, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis spotted the ‘obvious’ solution. On one side were the established telecoms, with revenues in excess of $1 trillion, but with infrastructure costs to match. On the other were the emerging Internet phone companies, taking advantage of increased broadband capacity but also constrained by the significant infrastructure costs associated with each additional user.

What if there were no infrastructure costs?

They built Skype: a computer-based telephone network in which all necessary infrastructure was provided by the users’ own computers, connected via the Internet, and let “the whole world talk for free”.

"It’s not the big who beat the small, it is the fast who beat the slow”

Listen to Niklas Zennström explain his venture capital investment strategy

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