Very very international

I’ve always considered one of the coolest things about working for Skype the deeply international group of people. About a fifth of our Tallinn staff of almost 300 have moved to Estonia from elsewhere in the world to work with us. And that group of happy expats has over 30 nationalities. In Skype globally, the unique nations count must be something in higher fifties, I think.

I very strongly believe into the cultural, linguistic and human diversity this setup has brought to our products and the company overall. We could never continue to delight people in almost every single country in the world if we didn’t have a sample of them working with us.

My freshest personal experience is my own eCommerce team. On our first team offsite meeting in Tallinn earlier today we did a round of introductions and after some intriguing personal stories shared about … oh well, let it be… there was the bit on where everyone has their roots: Australia, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, United States. Not bad at all for a group of 20 present.

Itching nose

I feel a bit itchy in the nose
This fellow does look a little sad about all this stuff going on in his nostrils.
Amazingly enough these very realistic wax statues at the Ahhaa, Panoptikon anatomy exhibition date back to as early as 1856. The worn-down buildings of Tartu University‘s Old Anatomical theatre provide the exactly suitable ambiance.
A bit morbid but educational way to spend one’s sunny Sunday. Recommended.


Even though the numbers seemed funny at the time, it is obvious now that DS is a much more balanced person than I am. As of last night, my physical age is 75 and my brain age 33.

Apparently the lust for (next-gen) gaming does not drop with age and Nintendo does a great job with bringing some appropriate sense into this as a good excuse to find time. (Not an issue with DS [edit: aha, confusing, meant the Nintendo DS Lite this time, as opposed to the DS person linked above], given the extensive flying on European routes with shrinking seat space often prohibiting you to open a computer).

Thanks a lot for the b-day gifts!

Pre-election graffiti

pre-election graffiti
A door of a power box on a street in Tartu, Estonia, morning of the election day. Probably both candidates (left one in black and right one in orange color) wanting a parliament seat. Danger of high voltage in any case.

Fetch your own food

downtown tartu
Ecologically sound citizens of Tartu, Estonia gathering on thin ice to turn the coating of hometown river Emajõgi into Swiss cheese. And see if the fish care to surface alongside them.

Business to Business to Consumer

Seth has written a great piece on the differences between what is “very good service” organizations provide to consumers versus to other businesses.
I’d like to add another twist to this.

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