Boxseat to bystander - Ideal Result
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Boxseat to bystander

I logged onto Skype over the weekend.

I remember first using Skype at the age of 16 or so, and thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread, but – as we all know – things have moved on A LOT since then.

What was abundantly clear once I’d spent about three seconds on the platform is that Skype really hasn’t.

It’s clunky, slow, unintuitive and lacks functionality, and it’s impossible not to conclude that it’s Zoom’s poor relation, despite the fact that Skype had an eight-year headstart on its younger, better rival.

Back in 2011 though, Skype was in the boxseat. 

That was when Microsoft bought it, with hundreds of millions at their disposal to improve, innovate and market it.

It was hip, it was cool; it was even a verb.

But fastforward to The Great Pause of 2020, which perhaps should have been Skype’s moment in the sun, and there’s no doubt that it’s Zoom wearing the crown, with Skype playing the role of the jester, or maybe even the pauper.

There’ll be multiple reasons why it’s turned out this way, but what it drums home to me is that things change, and faster than we can imagine.

And whether your product will still be relevant in two years is in large part down to how well you listen to and study your market now, understand how their requirements are changing and evolving, and ensure that what you deliver continues to meet their wants and needs.

Resting on your laurels and getting complacent is not a smart strategy – it’ll just allow a competitor to zoom in and steal your audience…


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