Holy crap, that’s all I can say. OK, not really, I can say a lot more. Mazel Tov. Congrats. Holy f*ing crap! Sling Media (my former employer) just got picked up for a cool $380 million (nice timeline here too). Holy crap! Sorry for all the pseudo-pottymouthedness, but come on, holy crap!
I think this was a pretty solid win-win relationship. Echostar is in heavy competition with DirecTV (and the cable co’s) today, and needs to start bolstering for the pretty much already-in-progress war with the Internets for TV. Sling brings not just the cool gadgets and yet-to-be-released Clip+Sling technology to the company, more importantly it brings knowhow.
Very few folks out there have really done anything “right” when it comes to PC and TV convergence. TiVo? Yes… Then there’s… uhm… let’s see… Apple? No. Microsoft? Kinda. ReplayTV? Who’zat? Seriously, you can count the successes in this space on a finger or two, and the failures can pile up enough terrible technology to fill HP’s garage! Sling has some knowhow, and Echostar can use it!
I am curious to see what becomes of the hardware side of the business. Will it be “Slingbox from Echostar?” Will we see a combined Dishplayer (the Echostar set-top-box with DVR features) with built-in Slinging? Or will they leave the unit independently running in San Mateo, building up a successful retail/hardware business? After all, they did eat Sony’s lunch when it came to the LocationFree TV (and the Vaio group is lucky they don’t ship laptops, since I could macramé a better one than the SZ-VGN460 – imagine if Sling built one!).
There’s a lot of options for these two companies and I’m excited to watch the future, knowing I was a part of the past. Now for some quick congrats to the whole team, and special thanks to Blake, Jason, and Bhupen for bringing me on board back in June ’04, as well as Rich for always having my back. Even more thanks and congrats to Brian J (best officemate ever), Alex, Raghu, Alexei (no more commuting!), John N, Dee, Cindy, George W (shh!), Brian M (finish your house already!), Vicky (90 hours per week is too many), Dave M (ykhik?), Jamie, Johnny G, Gregg (we’ll always have Orlando), Chris, Jeff (funny guy, no really!), Tami, Dave Z (sure, you’ll work for Brian, but not me?), Sharon (queen of beta), Teresa, Stephan, and every else I’m forgetting but have way too much adrenaline to focus right now.