Many a writer, analyst and blogger have put the label of “disruptive” on Skype.
I think NOT.
The proper term, as I have said before is “subversive” and what the following will prove and point to that exact claim. Now for those who don’t see the fine points of differentiation, disruptors upset the status quo. Michael Robertson at SipPhone, best known for MP3.com is an example of a premiere disruptor. Subversive types do an Al- Quada type 9-11 unexpected attack and profit from it.
That’s exactly the category that Skype has to be taken in and always should be.
Not only did Skype set out to disrupt the market, something they have done, but with three independent moves, or what only on the surface would appear to be independent, Skype has subverted their own promotional partner, T-Mobile in a masterful way that I applaud.
Let me first give you the ingredients to this explosive recipe that is clearly inspired by one part “Alchemist’s Cookbook” and another part “Mini Manual For The Urban Guerilla” . The execution is pure asymmetrical marketing, a concept I not only subscribe to but applaud when I see it as it not only on the surface appears to be disruptive, but in the end subverts the very nature of the T-Mobile relationship.
It is pure genius and what’s more unless you looked at the sum of the parts, on the surface everything seems to be just what it is.
But it’s not.
Here are the ingredients
So what does this mean?
Well for starters for the crowd that goes to Starbucks with a cell phone, for what amounts to $365.00 you can make unlimited calls to your friends now who aren’t on Skype with a the Mylo which is also a very useful PDA, music player and lightweight web browse. You add in the free calling and all of a sudden for the hotspot connected, no-need for a mobile phone crowd, the same crowd that Earthlink covets and wants to attract, and you have the very first real salvo at the mobile phone industry, and in true subversive fashion, Skype used the industry’s own infrastructure, or at least T-Mobile’s for their very mission delivery vehicle. If you already have a Mylo this means it stops being a paper weight.
I’m not sure if Sony was a party to the Skype “Pearl Harbor” move on T-Mobile, but as someone who appreciates great execution in marketing, this is one for the books in how to take independent pieces of non-volatile elements and make something up that pure incendiary.