Piece #2: Please, Steve, Buy TiVo

For this piece, I daydreamed about how TiVo might be saved by Steve Jobs. I wish this were the case. With cable coming on strong, I am not feeling so cheery about TiVo's chances. THE MESSAGE Is TiVo NeXT? The beleaguered personal video recorder company is ripe for an…

For this piece, I daydreamed about how TiVo might be saved by Steve Jobs. I wish this were the case. With cable coming on strong, I am not feeling so cheery about TiVo’s chances.

THE MESSAGE
Is TiVo NeXT?
The beleaguered personal video recorder company is ripe for an Apple takeover.

By John Battelle, May 2003 Issue

Everyone who has TiVo (TIVO) loves TiVo; it is to television what Macintosh was to computing — a revelation. Which is exactly why Apple (AAPL) should buy TiVo and once again redefine the intersection of culture and technology.

Folks love TiVo for the same reason they loved the Mac in 1984 and the iPod in 2001: It gives control back to the end user. TiVo viewers call the shots regarding when, how, and — soon — even where they watch. Once content or access is purchased, the end user is in charge, just like with the iPod.

But unlike the iPod, TiVo and systems like it are in serious trouble. The culprit is the entertainment industry. TiVo has an abeyant Napster-like quality — and the content business is scared silly that it will not only destroy advertising revenues but become the platform for video swapping on the Internet. Case in point: A coalition of entertainment companies recently sued TiVo competitor Sonicblue into bankruptcy.
(more by clicking on link below)

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My First Piece in 2.0

I wrote this a year ago (there's a three-month lag from writing to pub date with monthly magazines). I was sick of the press hammering the internet, with the presumption that everything we did over the past four years was a waste. Turns out, it wasn't. THE MESSAGE Alive and…

I wrote this a year ago (there’s a three-month lag from writing to pub date with monthly magazines). I was sick of the press hammering the internet, with the presumption that everything we did over the past four years was a waste. Turns out, it wasn’t.

THE MESSAGE
Alive and Well
From content providers to dog-food retailers, Internet business has moved to a new stage of stable growth. That’s the real story — so why aren’t we hearing it?

By John Battelle, March 2003 Issue

Any avid reader of the business press has seen endless variations on this tired theme: Internet business is dead. It was all a dot-con, and it dot-bombed.
Eager for an easy target and brimming with schadenfreude, many business reporters (and a few opportunistic book authors) continue to tear down the Net with nearly the same enthusiasm they displayed while building it up. But the facts tell a different story.
Let’s start with the flashing VCR clock of all dot-bomb maxims, the Internet pet-food industry. There’s no better proof of dotcom stupidity than the fact that venture capitalists funded not one but at least four pet-food websites at the same time. Thank God for us all, they are dead.
Except … they’re not. In fact, type “buy pet food” into Google and you’ll get scores of active merchants selling pet food online. I put in a call to one of them, Geoffrey Walker, CEO of PetFoodDirect.com. Surprise: His business grew 22 percent last year, and he expects similar growth this year. In fact, he and his three or four biggest competitors — yup, there are still that many players in this category — are all doing well. As for Pets.com, the now-defunct Sock Puppet company, Walker is thrilled about all that exposure, which let consumers know that they no longer had to lug around 40-pound bags of kibble. Pets.com now redirects to Petsmart (PETM), whose stock price has rung up a 44 percent increase since a year ago. Woof! (for more click link below)

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Note: Column Upload to Commence

Yeah, I've been threatening to post the past year's Business 2.0 columns, and I'm about to start. I've decided to post then in sequence as full text posts to the home page, then classify them as "Columns" using Moveable Type's "Categories" tools. That way, once they've moved off the home…

Yeah, I’ve been threatening to post the past year’s Business 2.0 columns, and I’m about to start. I’ve decided to post then in sequence as full text posts to the home page, then classify them as “Columns” using Moveable Type’s “Categories” tools. That way, once they’ve moved off the home page, they will live forever under a “Columns” link on the left. This way, future columns can be posted and added to the list automatically.

(As long as I’m posting site notes, if you can’t see a picture in the upper left hand corner, make your browser wider by pulling the lower right hand corner to the right till the picture shows up….ahh, that’s better).

So take note, a blizzard of posts (well, about a dozen or so) will follow, and you may want to simply ignore them for the next little while.

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