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Strategic orientation Essay

Michael Ramsay and James Barton originally conceived TiVo Inc. in 1997. Their company was founded with a single vision, “to create and continually enhance a new, easy – and much better – way to watch television. “1 The formation of their company has proved to be difficult because it was the first significant development to assist in the television viewing experience in twenty years. With TiVo’s continued commitment to the customer they plan to “forever change the way people view television. “1 Initially TiVo was taking off like wildfire with an unprecedented adoption rate in the history of consumer electronics.

This was made possible by TiVo’s commitment to provide its viewers with a customized TV viewing experience. TiVo does this by selling a Digital Video Recorder embedded with software that uploads the users viewing habits into a database. This database then determines what types of shows each user prefers and then downloads them into the users Digital Video Recorder (DVR) so the customer can browse through the selections and determine what they want to watch. 1 Based on the users preferences the shows can then be recorded onto the DVR’s hard disk and viewed whenever they have some free time.

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Since the information is recorded digitally the user can choose to skip over the commercials automatically or pause the program at any point to grab some snacks. This concept has come to be known as “time warping” or “time shifting. “2 The information that is retained within TiVo’s databases is then sold to advertisers so they can send the user customized commercials and mailings. According to Daft’s textbook Organizational Theory and Design, one of the attributes of organizational excellence is Strategic Orientation.

Daft suggest that there are four characteristics that pertain to an organization’s strategic orientation3:  Being close to the customer  Providing fast response  Having a clear business focus and goals  Establishing interorganizational linkages In reading various articles from BusinessWeek to Cablevision it’s clear that TiVo is dedicated to their customers. TiVo Inc. has developed a loyal subscriber base, which is continually growing, by delivering television in a format that suites their user’s needs. The proof is in the statistics1:

89% of TiVo subscribers channel surf less now 98% recommend the service to their friends  97% say it’s easier to use than a VCR  40% would rather give up their cell phone over their TiVo service TiVo understands that a vast majority of the population will shy away from new technology if they don’t understand it. To prevent this from happening with it’s service it airs infomercials that depict what is available with the TiVo service and how to use it. 4 It also supports a website that caters to TiVo newcomers and enthusiasts.

This website gives a place for subscribers to congregate to share TiVo facts and tips. 1 TiVo Inc. also uses this site to see how people are using it’s product and make improvements to the service. In this way TiVo Inc. is fast acting, which can be seen with its release of TiVo Series2 the next generation of DVR’s. 1 To achieve the goal of continually enhancing the way we watch television TiVo Inc. has formed many interorganizational linkages. This has involved the incorporation of its service into top manufacturers DVR’s such as Sony and Direct TV.

4 In addition it has obtained equity investments from leading communication and television industry leaders such as America Online, COX Communications, CBS and Showtime. 2 These interorganizational linkages are critical to TiVo’s success because it offers ways to exploit new technology to serve larger markets and financial backing. These linkages also allow TiVo to focus on its goal of providing an easy and better way to watch television because it is selling a service, which is specifically aimed at that goal.

REFERENCES:1 “TiVo Your Way,” Tivo [accessed 28 November 2002], http://www. tivo. com/5. 1. asp 2 Grebb, Michael, “TiVo vs. Replay,” Cablevision, 15 November 1999 [accessed 11 November 2002],http://www. findarticles. com/cf_dls/m0DGC/9_24/59425578/print. jhtml 3 Daft, Richard, Organizational Theory and Design, Ohio:South-Western Publishing, 2000, 483-484 4 Edwards, Cliff, “Is TiVo’s Signal Fading? ,” BusinessWeek online, 10 September 2001 [accessed 24 November 2002], http://www. businessweek. com:/print/magazine/content/01_37/b3748086. htm? mz.

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