Registered: Jun 2004
Originally posted by dgh
Are you sure that eao's analogy? It didn't look that specific to me. Even though I wasn't thinking about that analogy I would say the analogy is pretty good anyway with the caveat that the first "they" in your statement is the DSP vendors such as TI etc. and the second "they" is Intel. (ie Intel was sucking in other people's DSP business to sell more Intel chips. Obviously the DSP vendors weren't going out of their way to tell people you might not need their chips soon.) If someone could provide a concise list of the constraints, I might be able to find a better match. For example I'm using several pieces of software now that used to be free but they fail the Intel constraint that I was working under.
I'll try and get everyone's points as sublime seems to think they all need to be answered in a point-by-point fashion with the exception of mine (namely that TiVo mishandled the entire thing by disregarding it's early adopters) which he doesn't address.
sublime, I'm not saying anyone got screwed. I paid $100 for mine. To be honest I don't think it's that great aside from the remote scheduling which is cool (I could have modded in to a series 1 on my own for less than $100 that's for sure). Didn't have time to evaluate within 30 days so I was stuck with it and that's on me. jgickler has already made a better point as to why the airbag analogy is not valid. I'll add that I think the analogy also doesn't apply as auto makers, like Intel are giant companies that are not hurt by making early adopters angry. TiVo on the other hand, is largely supported by a passionate but relatively small user base who can influence the purchasing power of other buyers.
dgh actually, I didn't want an Intel-specific argument. My point was more that all the intel examples didn't apply as the size of the company and user base are apples and oranges between the two comparisons as I argue above. For the same reasons as the airbag, it's also a different argument, Intel didn't go around to people's houses and install FPUs after people started paying for them. If you upgraded to a new model and got it for free, then you got it but it wasn't a blanket give-away. In both cases you are talking about new product versions, not a free for all applicable to current and future customers.
A better example might be Novell/Ximian's recent open-sourcing of the M$ exchange connector. Even in that case however, those who paid for the connector still have a value add, they can pick up a phone and call a Novell support rep for help (similar with Microsoft MiX, IBM and Eclipse). You can't do that for the free version, there is still value to those who paid for them. Regardless, I don't think any of these examples are correct. This is a case of a service devaluation, not a product maturing.
I think the service vs. product aspect of this can't be overstated. Those of us who paid, paid for things like remote scheduling, HMO customer support, network schedule upgrades, content server software, etc. These are all scarce resources that will now be degraded as a deluge of new customers get them for free. I guarantee TiVo had to spend $$$ on network bandwith, servers, support staff, etc to support this change. There will be more incidents, outages and problems as a result. I for one wonder how they can take it all on with reduced cost structures and think it's not a good sign. Not sure if we will see it but behind the scenes it's there. For the sake of argument, I can think of plenty of examples where services go the other direction and become more costly as time goes on. Yahoo mail for example used to offer POP3 access for free. Not any more. My cable service keeps getting more expensive as does my phone service.
I'm not saying I want my money back, I'm not saying it shouldn't be free and all the above are secondary points because I like to argue. The primary point I'm making is that they mishandled the whole instance by passing it off as a new feature of TiVo and not saying thanks to those of us who actually footed the bill for it's maturity as a service. They could have found a way to make the service still have some extra value for those of us who purchased it.
I *do* think TiVo owes those of us who paid $100 for the service, at a minimum not putting it in my face as "new" features (see the newsletter) and a thanks for being there email. I've been an early adopter of TiVo all along and I know what comes with the turf. I've evangelized TiVo to at least 20 people I know of who bought one on my recommendation, given four as gifts, modded 10+ for people, etc. Unlike Intel or a car manufacturer, TiVo still needs people to do this type of thing as their product matures and I think they have forgotten that by disregarding those of us who helped get here as early adopters. Maybe I'm wrong and TiVo is a juggernaut of industry with a commoditized, mature product base unbeholden to the user base who pays it's innovation premium but I don't see it.
sublime, it's not, as you say, "Simple" but you choose not to address these points so shrug right back at you.
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