We met Tanel Erm – the Managing Director of Microsoft’s Estonia dev center – in Talinn, who gave us some insight into the early days of Skype and the company’s evolution from scrappy start-up to tech titan.
Let’s start with the code.
Yes, this sounds simple, but do you remember how expensive making international calls was in 2003?
The P2P backend it was built on was developed in Estonia by Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn, something they originally developed for the aforementioned (and nostalgia-inducing) KaZaa.
The software was one of the titans of digital piracy, and the impact this had on many writers at TNW is documented here.
Basically, those days felt like a time of freedom, of potential – a time when the internet‘s impact seemed infinite.