Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis

By: Mandy Leonard
Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis are best known as being "The Skype Guys" but for years they've been pioneering revolutionary programs that have changed the way that the internet is used. From controversial programs like Kazaa to the creation of Altnet, the world's first secure peer to peer wholesale network. With Kazaa the duo created one of the most downloaded pieces of software available. It was this technology that underpins the fast track file sharing capabilities that have improved the ability of virtual teams to work together. Alnet was the first secure network which integrated the full value chain of promotion, distribution and payment for digital content.

Their particular business model with Skype has been to provide the basic service for free, making money from selling add-on features like voicemail subscriptions, customized ring tones and skype to mobile and landline calls. In 2005, Skype was aquired by Ebay to incorporate it into the services already offered to their auction members. Their innovation has sparked a revolution in communication that now has millions of customers communicating across the world. By carving out their own niches within the exploding technology market, "The Skype Guys" have forever changed the way that we communicate and the face of the virtual workforce.

Mandy Leonard