The Power Of Us
Mass collaboration on the Internet is shaking up business
The 35 employees at Meiosys Inc., a software firm in Palo Alto, Calif., didn't know they were joining a gang of telecom-industry marauders. They just wanted to save a few bucks. Last year they began using Skype, a program that lets them make free calls over the Internet, with better sound quality than regular phones, using headsets connected to their PCs. Callers simply click on a name in their Skype contact lists, and if the person is there, they connect and talk just like on a regular phone call. "Better quality at no cost," exults Meiosys Chief Executive Jason Donahue. Poof! Almost 90% of his firm's $2,000 monthly long-distance phone bill has vanished. With 41 million people now using Skype, plus 150,000 more each day, it's no wonder AT&T (T ) and MCI Inc. (MCIP ) are hanging it up.