Happy 10th Birthday to Skype, The Little Estonian Startup That Could

Today Skype celebrates their tenth birthday. Yup, just ten years ago Skype began as a scrappy little startup in Estonia and has since grown into a multi-billion dollar Microsoft asset.

Their reason for being? The founders had previously developed Kazaa, a peer-to-peer file-sharing solution, but were spending all of their money on phone calls between Stockholm, Copenhagen and Tallinn. They thought, "Hey, maybe this peer-to-peer technology we were developing could be a solution," and Skype was born.

But that's not all. Every company has a story to tell, and Skype has chosen this milestone as the day to tell theirs. From their blog post:

Estonian for jellyfish, the Millimallikas is so-named for the tentacle-like effect that comes from pouring Tabasco sauce into a shot glass of Sambuca and tequila. Knock it bravely down the hatch, experience a burning sensation, and only then are you officially a Skype employee. [...] Even Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was successfully initiated on a trip to Tallinn after Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011.

Yep. Ballmer drank the Millimallikas. But, you say, "where is this Tallinn? Where is Estonia?" Don't worry, you're not alone. In fact, Estonia's president sees it regularly, so much so that he says:

"Not many know where Estonia is, but everyone knows Skype. So now I say I’m the president of the country where Skype is."

Their story is a good read, especially if you've ever used Skype.

Happy birthday, Skype, and thanks for everything you folks do over there!