Tivo Case Analysis
October 19, 2011
Tivo, the ideal founded by Jim Barton and Michael Ramsay, to change how people ultimately viewed TV, puts control of what is watched on television in the consumer’s hand. Indeed, a good concept to start with and a chance to be the first to act on a new product and potential market, but after fourteen months in an industry with 102 million TV- watching households, Tivo as the case says, had only reached .04 percent of this TV- watching population. With access to distribution points and outsourced sales teams under major players in the electronic industry such as Sony and Phillips, Tivo still lacked the sales to show for such a creative product. The case points to a lack of awareness as one of the key factors that contributed to this underachievement, but many different inferences coupled with this concept have led to Tivo’s woes.
The first inference we can draw from the case is that there was a disconnect between consumers and the product category that Tivo was ultimately going to fill. This is evident in the case at the point where the product was sent out to the press near its launch time for publicity. With a new product that has know predecessors of the technology being offered, and know products in that same product category to measure up against, it becomes difficult to explain the use of the product. The difficulty lied in communicating Tivo’s functions to the public. As a service, the product needed to be demonstrated rather than explained because users would have to communicate with the interface to use its functions. For a product that is as technically savvy as Tivo’s product offering, and a product that had never been seen up to date , the company failed to explains the effective use of its features, and how to introduce Tivo to the market. From the case we can also infer stepping into a undefined product category involves risk of defects of the product, as Walter Mossberg portrayed in...