Joost should have been Boxee
Both of these companies are right now having different kinds of momentum. Joost just killed their desktop application to refocus on a web only presence, while Boxee just closed a series A round of financing and is getting ready to leave the alpha stage.
Boxee motto is to open up the television, firing it up with new content from partners such as Hulu and YouTube. They’re focusing solely on the distribution form, getting great content from the web to the television.
Joost seems, in retrospective, to be the typical founder-just-turned-billionaire syndrome. When ambitious founders are trying to do everything, without being particularly good on anything. Sure they had a promising desktop client when they came out, but it always seemed better as a television interface than a desktop application.
Instead of focusing on the distribution solely they made the mistake of entering the jungle of lawyers that is the content business. Trying to partner with major studios slowed down the technical development as well as leaving the application in limbo between having a kind of ok desktop app and poor-as-hell content.
Swimsuit contests will bring you one audience but not the mainstream billion dollar potential audience. And swimsuits isn’t a value proposition on the web, you have a possibility to find that elsewhere. Let’s leave it at that.
But if Joost instead had tried the open proposition, which is where the founders are coming from, they could have syndicated aggregators content and provided a hackable and re-mixable platform for the television. This would have been an interesting offering, instead Boxee is arriving one and a half year later and doing just that.
Joost got lost in loads of money and unfocused management. Boxee seems to be having a much more focused mission together with getting to market with a good timing, when both people and hardware is just getting ready to get their television online. I’m excited to follow Boxee on it’s road to success and sad to see Joost go down as it has done.
Photo by autowitch
(Sorry for the radio silence, due to personal reasons I haven’t had any motivation to blog the last couple of months. Will try to get back to the normal schedule starting now.)
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