Skype and a headset for every CEO!

As I prepare for my trip to Israel this weekend for a board meeting, one piece of equipment I am sure to bring is my Plantronics DSP 400 headset so I can Skype with the CEOs in my portfolio companies. I have been using Skype for the last 6 months and can honestly say that it not only saves a ton of money but more importantly allows me to end the phone-tag game with my porfolio company CEOs and easily communicate with them.  Sure VOIP is great from a cost-saving perspective, but having presence is even more important in my mind.  I know when someone is available to speak and when they are not-no more wasted time with voicemails or I’ll call you back later.  As you know, as an active board member and investor much of the value add happens outside of the board meetings in ad-hoc in-person meetings and calls.  Prior to Skype I had all of the CEOs that I worked with logged into IM, and we would frequently have long, off-the-cuff exchanges throughout the week.  Well, with Skype, we can not only IM but through an extra click turn that into a high, value-add phone call.  Just like in customer service, not every exchange needs to escalate to a live phone call, but having the ability to easily point and click to make it happen is a huge benefit. Wait till Skype adds live video to its platform and the value of that conversation goes up higher.  Of course, the beauty of Skype is that as long as my laptop in logged into a network, I can easily make calls from anywhere in the world.  Since it is the holiday season and a time of giving, one of the gifts that I sent to a new CEO hire (will be announced in New Year) was the the Plantronics DSP headset.  I am now just waiting for him to get registered so we can start Skyping.

Published by Ed Sim

founder boldstart ventures, over 20 years experience seeding and leading first rounds in enterprise startups, @boldstartvc, Saas 2.0, googlization of IT, security, smart data; cherish family time + enjoy lacrosse + hockey

8 comments on “Skype and a headset for every CEO!”

  1. Boy, I learn so much from you guys! I work in a low-tech field, drive a 1991 Camry, hello! But because I weirdly love VC blogs and other business blogs, where the Early Adopters lurk, I am all gizmo/gadget in other ways – iPod, tiny digital camera, wireless at home, and now … ooh! … Skype! VOIP didn’t get me all worked up, but Skype has … ta-da … a friendly website! I just have to save up for the headset and figure out if I can do away with the landline altogether. Thanks Ed.

  2. yep..skype is brilliant and with a decent mike is doing a great service in remarkable areas. When Wimax rolls out, there may be a role for it in emergency communications too.
    Jonathan Marks
    journalist and broadcaster

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  4. Very funny! The poor founder heads up marketing and business development. From the time we made the investment we both agreed that we needed an experienced CEO to give the company a better chance to succeed. No one was shot and everyone is happy. Pre-investment we agreed on the goals and how to get there to avoid any issues down the line.

  5. Ed,

    Do you always declare your interest when you blog? In the UK, journalists are supposed to, but there’s no set standard for weblogs. I raise this because when you write on Skype, for example, your word would carry more weight with me if I knew that your view was impartial.

    You differentiate between Skype and VOIP, yet I thought that Skype belongs to the VOIP genre. Does the service have voice mail and standard telephone service support yet (it didn’t last autumn)?

    I have a Skype account and the kit, but haven’t got around to using it. Maybe it’s time.

  6. Yes, the default for me is always an impartial view. If I have an investment or interest in a company, I always make sure to give full disclosure on what my relationship is with the company or person.

    Skype does deliver its service via the internet so is part of the VOIP genre but at the same time it is quite different from Vonage since it is a P2P service over computers which allows it to offer more functionality like presence. In addition, third party developers have developed modules on the platform like voicemail. Finally, if you are willing to pay a penny a minute (sometimes more) you can call the traditional phone network. I am using it now from Israel to make a bunch of calls.

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