The Skype co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom signed an accord with eBay when their company was acquired.
Under that accord, they can not use Skype peer-to-peer technology to launch another business in the telephony area. So that leaves video.
And once you’ve got entrepreneurship in your blood, you go out and do it again, right? That’s why they’ve launched the Venice Project, their latest company, focused on making Internet TV a reality for the masses.
Om Malik has a brief interview, and here are the important snippets:
Janus Friis:…What we have done is created a streaming P2P platform for television. This is a platform, which is good for content owners, for advertisers and of course the viewers. Since there are no borders on the Internet, this is a global platform. Sometimes we think content owners have legal reasons to restrict content locally and the technology allows them to do that.
OM: When will you launch the service? What are the bandwidth requirements for The Venice Project? And how good of a quality will the streams have.
JF: Like Skype, The Venice Project is simple – you download and you get free television. There is nothing complicated and simple. Our software is already in beta, and we are doing some bug squashing right now. You can sign-up and we are inviting more people to our beta program. It is near television quality, and it needs about one megabit per second.
There is more on Janus’ blog. Our observation of the historical record is that it is rare for an entrepreneur to go out and have two really big hits. We’ve seen them do two decent, or two really good hits, but not two extraordinary hits. So we shall see if they can pull this off.
We hear from a good source there are no venture backers behind this company (at least yet).