Just as hiring Mike Volpi from Cisco was big news for Skype, the fact Volpi has become the CEO of Joost is big news. Volpi brought an air of legitimacy to Skype when he joined the board in 2004. Having years of experience at Cisco and becoming part of a VoIP startup was big news at the time and the benefactor last time was certainly Skype who sold to eBay for more than 2 billion dollars.
This time as head of Joost, the founders of both Skype and Joost, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom can be confident they have hired someone who knows how to rapidly scale a viral software company and make it even more successful.
In a recent conversation with Niklas Zennstrom, I asked about the synergy between Skype and Joost and his eyes lit up when he talked about the possibilities. It was apparent this was something he had thought about extensively.
Imagine hooks into Skype allowing instant TV viewing. Imagine the Joost code being seamlessly downloaded as part of the next Skype upgrade and you get the idea of the potential to get Joost installed on hundreds of millions of computers quickly and efficiently.
Joost has the right investors and the right idea regarding how to make Internet TV work. They have some good content partners and are working on getting more. They really need the A list to make this venture a huge success.
Joost seems to have gained the mindshare of the media as well. As the saying goes, the market is theirs to lose.