I think the 3 way combination of Skype Prime, Paypal, and eBay has some real potential, although I must admit I am less than pleased with the max limits, and the revenue sharing arrangement. The maximum per minute fee is US$ 2.50, and with a 30% cut going to skype, the maximum hourly rate is only slightly over $100/hour. While this is probably ok from the standpoint of a part time professional or an off shore expect, it will severely limit the activity of US tech specialists.
Certainly, skypes target market is not the guru’s, as thats not where the the high call volumes are going to come from. Ie, a fracture mechanics expert billing out $1000/hour is not the sort of expert, one is going to randomly pick from a Skype list. These types of expertise require a lot more hand holding up front, and a more conventional approach to service.
Yet, I do think their is a lot of potential in other areas, ie computer and software tech support, especially in the arena of open source seems to be a nice fit for this offering. Another possibility is using skype prime as a loss leader to increase one’s customer base. Of course, the issue with that, is sticker shock, once a contract is on the table.
Being skye primr will eventually be a global offering, the potential for savings from a user standpoint is significant, provided one can overcome the language barriers. Yet, this could also be counterproductive in that it could go the way of elance, where everyone and his brother jumps on the bandwagon, quality suffers, and the prices are so low, that the highly experienced and specialized experts stay away from it.
The question is, whether I’ll give it a go or not. Certainly I am not going to offer full blown services, as it would be a huge loss financially. Yet, within some niche areas, there is a lot that can be learned, the financial risk is lower, and being I would severely restrict my availability, it might be something worth giving a go, at least for a trial period for educational purposes.