Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Launch Day Recap

What a difference a day makes! On Wed March 16th we officially launched!

When we spoke to the press, we sensed that they were excited by the story. Though we could hardly imagine what was to follow. Just about everyone we spoke to, immediately published a story. Within a day, we were covered in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, just about every major news outlet -- and dozens of others. Getting featured on the Yahoo! homepage drove huge volumes of traffic our way, and our servers got overwhelmed.

We were disappointed that we couldn't handle the traffic. It meant that we weren't available for our new or returning customers -- this was upsetting; we aim to be a very customer focused company, and here we were on day one, disappointing you. We had a long night, but were back in business just after midnight. (We fed the monkeys too!)

We are fortunate that many of you were patient enough to join our waiting list. We now have the opportunity, and obligation to build the service you want, and get you off that waiting list as soon as we can. Stay tuned - we will soon provide more information to those on the waitlist.

In case you missed some of the coverage, we thought David Pogue did a pretty nice job of summing up the general sentiment surrounding Zediva.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We've Launched

If you've been to the Zediva website before, you may have noticed that we recently launched some new pages, and changed a few details on the Zediva website. We’re not done yet, but I think you will appreciate the changes we’ve made.

First of all, we added new home, pricing, and how-it-works pages to the site. As we’re moving out of our beta phase we recognize that we’re going to be checked out by people who don’t know who we are, or what we do. We’ve tried to answer those questions as clearly as possible, and have added some great trial promotions to boot.

We’ve also made the ‘browse films’ section of the site a little more clear, and added some additional functionality.

We’re still a very new business, and we’re going to be getting better all the time. We have lots of great ideas and a team of people motivated to bring them to life. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Story of Zediva

Once upon a time a business man worked at a company where he had to travel frequently.... (Ok, it was me.) In the evenings I would sit alone in some hotel room in some part of the world -- though it wasn't always clear from the carpets and wall paper just where exactly I was. Tired from the day's work. I'd resort to watching old reruns and wished I could watch a more interesting DVD of my choosing.

At the time I had a subscription to Blockbuster’s rent-by-mail service, which was great when I was home to enjoy it, but all too often the movies would sit at home unwatched for 2-3 weeks, or my family would watch them and send them back. Poor me.

While working on a project with Michel Billard (co-founder of Zediva), I wondered aloud: "How neat it would be if there were an escrow service I could send my rented DVDs to and watch them remotely over the internet". (Yes, I think I actually used the word "neat"). The rest as they say is history. We set out to build that service - and with a few tweaks here, and a modification there, Zediva was born.

The escrow service itself turned out not to be such a great idea. The handling costs, it seemed, would be unwieldy -- and the customer proposition seemed too complicated. Instead we found the economics of renting a DVD directly were far more compelling.