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December 25, 2010


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Frank Bulk

Just because it's paid, doesn't mean it will work, either.



Andy, I have to disagree. What happened to Skype as far as we can tell -- a bug in their relay node code which took down many supernodes and thus crippled their network -- could have happened in paid-for relay nodes or Skype's use of user computers just as easily. It had only a little relation to the fact that Skype doesn't pay people to be supernodes. (This may have affected how quickly they could come back.)

And I think that "Run high quality 99.9% of the time for free but fall back very rarely to a paid lower-fidelity service" is a great model and I think it counts as running a business on free.

I'm not saying there aren't reasons to use paid services, but I don't think this speaks to whether a fremium system like Skype isn't a success and something that you can use and rely on in business. The point is you do have many backups available, and the reality is that in Skype they are called upon quite rarely -- perhaps more rarely than many of the commercial services I have used. And you want a fallback for your commercial services too.

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