2004-08-01

TiVo, back in the day

Returning home from San Francisco to a cold, drippy Sunday afternoon, I built a fire and curled up with Randy Komisar's The Monk and the Riddle, a birthday present from Chuck. Here's a snippet from Chapter Six about TiVo:
Book Cover: The Monk and the Riddle
"Their Teleworld idea was to sell a new kind of hardware, a home server that not only digitally stored incoming electronic information, including audio and video content, but also linked the gamut of digital devices rapidly becoming commonplace in the home: computers, PDAs, and Internet appliances. Concerned that they might be ahead of the market and that customers would be slow to appreciate the ultimate value of their product, Mike and Jim planned to jump-start the business by giving customers the ability to digitize and store several hours of television programming in a set-top box. Their initial product would be, in effect, a souped up VCR with a clever programming guide..."

"Mike and Jim talked about selling hundreds of thousands of set-top boxes, but that wouldn't build a large enough audience for service providers and advertisers. They would have to sell millions of units, and quickly. If they focused on the boxes, I told them, 'your legacy may be that you sowed the seeds of a huge market, which the consumer electronic giants and service providers ultimately reaped.'"
Komisar was spot-on...

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