What I’ve Learned, By Skype’s Niklas Zennstrom

By David Rowan

What I've learned, by Skype's Niklas Zennstrom

Think of all the giant technology companies that have changed your life, and the chances are that they’re American. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft — there’s something about the U.S. digital economy (not least piles of Silicon Valley cash) that churns out tech billionaires faster than Europe can generate teetering banks.

That’s why Niklas Zennstrom is such a role model to entrepreneurs this side of the Atlantic. Not only did he co-found and run Skype, the London-based internet-phone start-up which eBay bought in 2005 for $3.1 billion — a venture more than two dozen venture capitalists turned down flat. He also, with business partner Janus Friis, created the game-changing peer-to-peer software Kazaa, launched the online video-sharing service Joost, and now runs a Mayfair-based investment firm called Atomico which recently raised $165 million.

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