Cozmo Media got off the ground in mid-2004. We (Alex and Jason) had been speaking for some months about an idea to fix the process of locating great televisions shows and sharing those preferences with other people. We both loved our TiVo®Boxes and thought that a great service would be to provide simplified search through a Website that would talk directly to your TiVo. (Sorry, TiVo, but we felt that your online scheduler kind of sucked.)
We decided to call the service CozmoTV and set about the process of building a specification. After several months of planning and development we started to dedicate more time to the incorporation of Internet video content into our listings. Chris Anderson’s long tail article was hitting the shelves and it felt like the whole amateur video world was about to explode… Multiple video sharing sites had already launched and felt that Internet video delivered to your TV through a TiVo (or other device) was going to be a killer app. TiVo could display both broadcast TV and Internet video on your TV, why couldn’t you search for both types of content in the same place?
Anyway, fast forward about 18 months and a lot of blood sweat and tears and we’re about to release our baby. We’ve learned a lot over the past year and a half and the market has evolved a bit?, but so has our vision. But we think that CozmoTV is going to provide a pretty excellent end-to-end video search service, we’re just gone about things a little differently because, well, video is a little different from a web page. And the way you search for video is going to be a little different as well.
We’ve been building in a bunch of bells and whistles, but at the same time we’re trying to hide as much complexity as possible from our users (because complexity sucks in a Web application.) We’ve set out to create something my grandmother could use. Hopefully we’ve come close.
As a result, we’re releasing CozmoTV in multiple phases. We’re starting with a simple version of CozmoTV that includes channels and Internet video only. We think the product is simple enough and fun enough to drive some traffic and get us some good rating data to feed our personalization engine. Over the next couple months we’ll be adding back in the TV listing information (and TiVo integration) and adding some device support. We’ve also got some other tricks up our sleeve that we’ll be keeping under wraps for now…
Once we feel like we’ve got some pretty good rating data and the application is stable enough to handle some load, we’ll open the service up to the public. Our hope is to have all things in public Beta by the first of the year. (Crossing our fingers…)
Anyway, we’ve been working hard on all of this stuff for a long time and we’re excited to get your reaction. If you love it or hate it, let us know why so we can make it better. We think the video market is going through some great changes that are going to help really great content and their producers get the recognition (and financial reward) they deserve. But this stuff is all way too complicated right now. Hopefully CozmoTV simplifies things a little bit.
Who is Cozmo Media?
Alex is a co-founder of the business and is basically in charge of setting our vision, raising capital, managing Jason (which is no small feat), and building the front end of CozmoTV’s services and Web properties. Alex will be doing more work to sell and market this thing once we get it off the ground and unfortunately traveling a lot more in the near future.
Alex was the co-founder and CEO of USPowerSolutions before starting Cozmo Media. That business was an enterprise software solution in the retail energy market and a whole lifetime ago. Anyway, Cozmo is much more fun than building billing systems for retail energy companies, trust me…
Jason is co-founder of the business and is basically in charge of setting vision with Alex and building all the great stuff we dream up together. (Getting all the back end stuff right seems a little tougher than designing pretty UIs.) Jason will hopefully be spending more time relaxing in the near future as I think this project is about to work him to death.
Jason co-founded USPowerSolutions with Alex is his prior life and served as it’s Chairman and CTO. Jason built out the PowerSolution and PowerUp products with the help of a large group of developers. I think he and I both hope we don’t have to manage that many engineers anytime soon :-).
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