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Monday, September 08, 2008

Joost: a good example of what can go wrong when you have too many friends with too much money

Originally posted as a comment by mdangear on VentureBeat using Disqus.

Just commented on Venture Beat post regarding Joost:
The sad thing about Joost is how much money is being spent on an idea that as you say - "I found the idea of Joost to be compelling" - is just an idea.
It seems to me that we have here a typical case of too much money to people who belong to the VC club. They were successful, and therefore they were able to raise a lot of money on just an idea. And then they were able to spend that money without a real need to go and test it against the market until it was all built nice and fancy, with the money spent, only to discover that the market is not here. Not now, not for what they have to offer today. Oops.
Even better, after it did not take off, there were able to get even more money to try to fix the whole thing, in a typical human trait that when you have sunk in cost, you tend to spend more to make it right even when it does not necessarily make sense.
And this is the bad news when you have too many friends with too much money: easy get easy spend. No need to worry about paying the rent at the end of the month, no real need to be smart about your go to market (you have the friends - you have the doe - you have the buzz), just be happy with your idea and go build a nice desktop client that everybody will love. ..
Forgetting one detail: medium is content. So in this case it does not really matter that you have a client or something in the web browser, what matters is what type of content you are showing on a computer.
People are not necessarily interested in left overs from the majors, or old stuff that they agree to let you watch on the PC for free. The type of content that works on the PC has proven to be the 3mns short video, like you have on YouTube. Except that content on YouTube is all over the place, and it is hard to sort out the junk from the rest.
If they are going to spend more money, I believe it should be in producing quality content that works with the PC as a medium.
OR as you suggest, change the medium and go back to TV by becoming an equivalent of ActiveTV or a Tivo, allowing people to watch TV content on their TV, except that is would be coming from the Internet with some kind of box to make the connection.