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Jonas Kjellberg

Jonas Kjellberg

Digital Transformation Speaker, Co-Creator of Skype, Author, and Investor

Mar 1, 2018

Jonas Kjellberg

In this episode, Jonas Kjellberg, co-creator of Skype, explains how product, sales, and profitability must interact in order to create a successful business. Jonas Kjellberg is a digital transformation speaker, entrepreneur, author, and investor. As co-creator of Skype, Kjellberg helped generate 90 percent of their revenue stream. Tune into this BigSpeak podcast to hear a great conversation about the grit and mindset it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

“For me, it’s about investing in vision. A lot of people want to invest in a business case. I want to invest in vision and I want to change the game.”

Episode Highlights


Where does culture fit in for you?

I think to some extent, culture beats strategy. I think it’s more about the grit and the people involved to get the job done. And if you look back, it’s many of the successful startups I’ve been part of, the people part has been a very, very strong thing, and many of the people that were there that were not very well-known, have gone on and been very successful entrepreneurs in other places. So it’s the friction of different people thinking in a different perspective. And then having the guts to become a game changer because a lot of that grit in early start-ups is if you’re rethinking an industry, you’re also working against the existing paradigm. So you need to have that mindset of not having anything to lose, but really having the passion for winning.


I know that one of the things you like to talk about is failure and it’s an interesting concept when you’re talking to entrepreneurs. Why is it such an interesting topic to you?

Well, for me, I think it’s important to actually do the numbers game. I’ve had a lot of successes, but if you do the numbers, I actually fail more than I win. And for me, it’s the passion of winning that drives me. And I hate losing, and people say, “You need to embrace failure.” I hate failure. I’ll just be honest.


Tell me more about the zeroes. I’m not familiar with that. 

So to innovate in zeroes is more about rethinking how do you avoid costs. You can take Skype, for example. We didn’t have a traditional infrastructure. We said, “Okay, but the customers already bought the internet so why don’t we use their internet that they’ve already purchased?” We found our first zero.

TELECO wants to buy switches; we said, “Okay, but the CPU processing power is the same in any computer as in switch.” So we said, “Let’s use that.” We found another zero. TELECO wants to buy a lot of servers, Cisco servers. We said, “Okay, that’s gonna be expensive.” But again, the processing power in your computer was very, very strong and most of your computers were actually connected to the internet. So we said, “Okay, what happens if we use your computer when you’re not there and not using it?” And we had another zero for the network costs. And I think that is very good examples where you rethink costs.

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