I just made a pretty lengthy post and review of the Tivo and Yahoo! partnership over at my personal blog. The more I think about Tivo’s business model, it is really all about users. They are willing to give away the equipment for cost…or less just to get people to sign up for their service. They have been around long enough to know what percentage of people who sign up for their service will continue to use it. I would assume their rentention rate is higher than most other paid services’ rentention rates. Tivo is a great service and system and I have been a really loyal user for a long time. But, I think they really lost some vision the past few years, when they should have been attacking. If there is one thing that I have learned in my time in the business world, it is that when you find something that works, attack. What does that mean? Simply, that if you find a product, service, niche, something, anything that makes you money, creates user signups or whatever you are working towards doing, you must attack it with all of your resources. Tivo created a great product and built a loyal user base. I am sure they saw very big growth simply via viral methods. However, there is really a need to grow quickly at a certain point, and I am not sure what kept Tivo from making that jump. They probably felt that they did not want to take on some kind of VC or equity based funding and now we are seeing what happens when you don’t attack.
I fear that Tivo will be gone within a year or two as products like Microsoft’s Home Media Center take what Tivo started and run with it. It is sad and unfortunate, but one of the great benefits of living in a country like the United States. So, I bid you farewell my little Tivo box. May you enjoy your future in the big computer heaven in the sky.
Anyone want to buy a series 2 Tivo with lifetime subscription?