No, I'm not talking about junk mail here. This is about a new website called Jyve that utilizes Skype to connect people to service providers. More specifically, professional tele-services (jobs that can be performed over a voice connection). For example, Jyve has attorneys offering legal advice, astrologers reading fortunes, and psychologists ready to listen, all using PayPal to charge clients by the minute. A review of the tele-service providers shows that not only do they offer computer, health, and real estate advice services, but that they are stationed all over the world.
While companies like Skype work hard to develop a profitable business model for their VoIP networks, Jyve's CEO Charles Carleton thinks he has found one. "Where I see money being made is for professionals to charge for their time over a Skype line," he recently told CNET.
We have the outstanding capacity and over-investment in fiber backbone to thank for the diminished value of long distance voice transmission. Some companies have been hurt but, as Jyve demonstrates, this creates new opportunities elsewhere.
Of course, we have seen similar forces at work before. U.S. investors like Jay Cooke & Co. went bankrupt after over investing in the national railway network in the 1860s, but their railways helped instigate furious economic growth and the development of the West. More recently, the introduction of the 1-800 'toll free' system in the 1980s was a major factor in bringing about the advent of call centers (which today employ around 4 million Americans).
So while we go through the interesting process of watching old business models, and the regulations that bound them, fade away to irrelevancy, feel free to allow your inner entrepreneurial self to emerge. Set up your living room office and coach far away foreign business executives on the intricacies of the English language. There are millions to be made here, because what Ebay did with the Internet, Jyve is trying to do with Skype.