21 February 2006

Is Skype 'Bartering' or Just 'Sharing'?

BusinessWeek ran a 20 June 2005 article called "The Power of Us: How Mass Collaboration on the Internet is Shaking up Business."

They discuss how Skype, a small European startup challenged the massive trillion-dollar telecom industry.

Easy. They "[dialed] up a vast, hidden resource: its own users."

Skype comes from the same people that are responsible for the file-sharing software Kazaa.

The Skype network borrows "spare computing power and Net connections" from everyone using Skype.

This creates a "collective resource to route others' calls.

The result: a self-sustaining phone system that requires no central capital investment -- just the willingness of its users to share."

Where is the line between sharing and trading/bartering?

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