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Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom has said the 'Web 2.0' phenomenon is built on more solid foundations than the first dotcom explosion - but a crash could be on the way.

Speaking to delegates at the Le Web 3 conference here in Paris today, Zennstrom said: "The big difference this time from six years ago is that we have the infrastructure built out now - in 2000, very few people had computers."

He continued: "It's a sign of hype. When we started Skype in 2002, it took us 10 months for anyone to give us any funding - now there are probably some here writing out cheques.

"There's absolutely not the same kind of bubble situation as we had last time - but everything has its ups and downs. There is going to be a downturn some time."

Having revolutionised the music world when he launched the KaZaA peer-to-peer file sharing network, then the telecoms sector with free internet phone calls, Swede Zennstrom is regarded as one of the leading European net entrepreneurs.

"We [European startups] don't have the same advantage [as the US], so we have to look abroad", he told delegates. "Forget about your home market - you have to look at other markets.

"When we sold the company, no companies in Europe were interested in us. But the good thing about Skype is we are still a European company."

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Published 11 December, 2006 by Robert Andrews

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Comments (1)

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Douglas Hawkins, Excelsior-ss, LLP

Listen up Skype. You are are not ready for prime time until you do two things: 1) Institute real customer service staffed with real people who can answer substantive questions and deal with problems and 2) Staff up your technical support opeation. You are sorely lacking in both of these areas.

over 9 years ago

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