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.

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