How To Go Up Against Apple and Microsoft
Idan Cohen - Boxee
In the race to get Internet TV shows and movies into the living room, Boxee co-founder Idan Cohen notices unanticipated advantages of being the (much) smaller player.
00:00 Idan Cohen: At Boxee we are trying to be an alternative to cable. So looking at the new way that people try and consume media and TV shows and movies, and we are trying to bring all of that media through the internet into the TV. We started the company five years ago. We were trying to build a box. We knew that we wanted to create a new experience for the living room and there is actually no open platform in the living room. So in order to get there, we needed to create our own hardware. We're definitely software people. I mean, it was clear that, that's what we know how to do. We know how to create great experiences.
Who are your biggest competitors and how are you better than them?
00:47 Idan Cohen: I would say Apple, Roku and Microsoft... And for us, it was very clear that we can do a better job that we can out innovate and we're definitely... We can move faster and create more compelling experiences, be more open, have less agendas, and that's exactly what happened. I mean looking... For these big incumbents, it's extremely hard to move fast and to introduce new concepts. We definitely benefit from the fact that we have in some ways a smaller audience and definitely more tech savvy. So, we can see how these kinds of concepts that we are trying to introduce are being received very quickly. So I think that for us it's always just thinking a few steps ahead -- what's out there right now that we can use and can actually benefit our customers and create a better experience for them.
What are the competitive benefits to being a smaller company?
01:47 Idan Cohen: The good thing for us, actually having these big competitors in the market is that as a small start-up, we don't have a lot of money, for instance, to invest in marketing. But as new... As we are a little intimidated by a new device coming out, they're investing in marketing. It actually floats the whole market up. At the end of the day, especially when companies like Google and Microsoft are trying to compete with us, the reason why I don't feel defeated is that I know that I have, or we have, everything to lose. If we fail and the company goes bust, we are back on the street. We need to start up with a new idea and make it happen again. There, they don't have a lot to lose. At the end of the day, if the projects get folded, they end up in another division. They do something else. They still have their salaries. They don't worry that much and they're not gonna fight as hard as we will.
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