As an entrepreneur it is very easy to get sucked up into the excitement of an idea. I know for me when I get an idea with business potential in my head, my brain kicks into overdrive. I immediately begin to think of the idea from 90 different angles, how it would be marketed, how it would be implemented, how it would make money, and its potential market size. I get so excited that I can only see its potential, and potential drawbacks are hidden from my mind’s eye. The excitement and the clarity I experience in moments like these turn me into a rambling idiot for the nearest ear. I find that I often forget that people around me don’t have the same clear image in their head. So when I explain things to them, I blurt out the most exciting parts and therefore they struggle to fully share in my vision. Here is an interesting discussion on how to effectively present that idea. I found this pretty useful as I’m currently in the painful business plan writing process. I especially enjoyed the section on condensing your pitch down to 5 and 30 second explanations.
It is unfortunate that the revolutionary has been run over by the revolution. TiVo is currently facing a very difficult time. It was dropped by Direct Tv, and even more scary is the ease its technology can be copied. The cable companies provide the same quality of service at drastically lower rates (no cost up front and then about $8-10 per month), as do the satellite providers, Windows Media PC’s can do it all, and there is a growing crowd of DIYer’s utilizing the open source DVR movement. As much as I love TiVo and their quality programming guides, I think their future as an independent company is bleak unless they can once again differentiate themselves from the pack. I’d hate to see the company become nothing more than a verb. (I tivo’d that). Maybe Apple could attack the video market next? Tivo, although not as widespread, does have comprable ipod name recognition in the DVR market. Why not follow the same model as their ipod attack on the digital audio market? They can redesign the tivo marketing strategy (let’s face it, Apple is the king of cool-have you been to an apple store? ), and even more incredible is they can leverage the Ipod success to boost the Tivo. Imagine an apple built tivo handling all of your digital media in the home, including a large hard drive to store all of your itunes songs and firewire ports for everyone in the house to sync up their pods and videopods. Imagine being able to buy itunes songs or imovie or itv content from your couch. I think there is a significant opportunity for Apple to buy up TiVo’s scraps for chump change, and for them to again revolutionize the digital video market. Any thoughts?