Last week we had a pleasant visit from blogger and technophile Stephanie Booth. Stephanie is a friend of Gabor’s and visiting from Switzerland. Prior to Stephanie’s visit I had begun writing about the small and communicative community that exists in the startup world and on the web, but her visit inspired me to finish the post.
In the past few months we’ve met and become friends with a whole contingent of entrepreneurs from England. It started with Harj and Kulveer from Auctomatic, who we met through our involvement with Y Combinator. We also met Sumon from Oxford, and Kirill from Slide. I recently met Kieran from Everwire and next week I should meet Bob Goodson, an early guy from Yelp. All these guys are from England, and I haven’t left the country in two years. What is going on here?
All of these people are all part of the same web city. I’ve been thinking about how quickly ideas move among citizens of this web city because the people of Arringtonville have embraced modern communication methods: email, twitter, facebook, skype, IM, SMS. No non-physically proximate group on earth is as connected as this community. And the fact that they are physically separated means they interact with different groups of real world people. So, these technophiles are the sneezers that will spread ideas and products they find cool and useful to the citizens of Chevy Country and Macystown.
In the past few months I’ve introduced my friends from the real word to great services and products like 1-800-Free411, Kayak, Joost, Skype, Farecast, Twitter, Weebly, Facebook, and Veoh.
A chasm doesn’t exist between web 2.0 Aringtonites and my brother the bluegrass musician when you explain that Skype makes calling Spain free. They all get it.
August 29, 2003 Skype Launches
September 12, 2003 160,000 downloads
September 15, 2003 240,000 downloads
September 25, 2003 728,000 downloads
There are now over 100 million downloads of Skype.
The really cool thing about Xobni is that it fits the same category as cheap travel, free television, and free phone calls; these are products that real world people care about, and this interconnected web community will spread the good word.