Risks & bets with Jonas Kjellberg

How big bets and failures made Skype a multibillion dollar business in 2 years

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How did Skype come from nothing and end up becoming one of the Internet’s most revolutionary businesses?

The answer is with strong leadership and a drive for innovation.

In this episode, Tony interviews Jonas Kjellberg – serial entrepreneur, author, investor and most notably one of the co-creators of Skype – about his wins and losses in business. Kjellberg talks about how risky bets became his biggest failures and also his biggest wins.

Kjellberg is the ultimate entrepreneur. He looks at existing businesses and strives to make them better. Where others focus on changing one variable at a time, Kjellberg has found success in changing as many as possible. He has a passion for going against the status quo to build something better. The businesses he works with have scaled to levels no one imagined possible.

To achieve this level of success, Kjellberg has approached business with the mindset that everything is eligible for change. During his time with Skype, the company went through an evolution that no one saw coming. They disrupted the industry and revolutionized the way we view telecommunications online.

In this interview, Kjellberg reveals what he has learned through his past failures, eliminating costs, customer acquisition and always being ready to take big risks. You’ll learn why he thinks that every business must stand ready to embrace change and pivot whenever necessary.

Jonas Kjellberg – serial entrepreneur

A lesson that every entrepreneur and business leader must learn is that, in order to be successful, you have to take risks that others won’t. Skype’s success under Kjellberg’s guidance is a prime example of that.

When you focus on what makes your company different, why your offering can change the industry and how you can change to get more attention on your brand, you’ll achieve far more success than any other strategy.

This episode of the Tony Robbins podcast is part of a breakthrough series that takes you, the listener, to events like Date With Destiny, Unleash the Power Within and Business Mastery. You’ll get to hear clips from in-person coaching sessions with event attendees as well as interviews with some of the most well-known names in business.


[00:57] Episode Introduction
[02:40] Welcome Jonas Kjellberg
[02:40] A serial entrepreneur
[03:30] The secret sauce
[04:25] How Skype was born
[05:40] Selling Skype 2 years later for $2.6 billion
[06:10] A philosophy to swear by: “Innovating in Zeroes”
[06:40] How Skype eliminated costs
[07:40] Using people’s computers to reroute traffic
[09:00] How to add zeroes
[09:10] How Apple was able to raise their prices
[09:35] What takes your product beyond competition?
[10:10] The biggest challenges when building Skype
[10:35] How do you get customers?
[11:10] 3 years to get 20,000 customers
[11:40] Innovating in customer acquisition
[12:00] Friction-free storytelling
[12:10] What are you selling?
[12:30] Harley Davidson’s story
[13:30] What does failure mean to you?
[14:55] Taking risks when you don’t have financial means
[15:20] What does marketing mean to you?
[15:45] Taking a mathematical approach to customer acquisition
[16:30] Good marketing comes from deep passion
[17:00] The marketing challenge with Skype
[18:10] You must constantly measure your business
[18:35] How much scaling matters
[20:40] What industry is ripe for disruption now?
[22:10] Don’t be afraid of pivoting

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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