Is former Cisco star Mike Volpi selling his dilly-dallier of a video service Joost?

It was just a mere 8 months ago that former Cisco star Mike Volpi blogged: "In my last role at Cisco, I managed an organization with 7,000 employees and $11B in revenues. From that rather high perch, I stepped into the leadership of Joost - a much smaller organization with great ambitions. Others have done this transition before, but I’ve found it fascinating as it has required a good degree of rewiring for me." Fastforward to Michelangelo Volpi's most recent blog last week: How Are We Doing? "Nothing, not brain-eating aliens, not cats on skateboards, and not rumors and speculation, will keep us from continuing on our mission to bring video to you over the internet. In the afterglow of the hype of our early days, we’ve had our fair share of critics, but we’re encouraged every day by the amount of feedback emails, tweets, Facebook comments and more that we receive from our fans. The team here continues to work hard, every day, to make Joost a success, and we thank you for your continued support." Amazingly, on the very same day as Volpi's blog above, Joost investor CBS reported on its CNET News Service: "Joost is actively seeking a buyer and the beleaguered video service has told cable and satellite providers that it could be their online video solution, said sources close to the companies. Time Warner Cable is one of the companies that has expressed interest in Joost, the sources said. Spokespeople for Joost and Time Warner Cable said they don't comment on rumor or speculation. Joost is a story of missed opportunities, bad luck, and the folly of thinking whiz-bang technology alone is enough to forge a winning entertainment site. Joost launched in 2007 with seemingly everything going for it. Two years later, and after the company struggled with management shakeups, technology setbacks, as well as a failure to land top TV shows and films, Joost's traffic and content library are mediocre at best. In the Web video sector, Joost has fallen far behind the leaders: YouTube and Hulu." CBS along with Cisco's original venture capital investor Sequoia Capital (as well as 3 more investors), funded Joost with $45 million 2 years ago in May 2007. However, it was just 4 months ago that Volpi acknowledged Joost would need more money to operate in 2009.

Nonetheless, I was extremely impressed when Volpi's blog last week stated: "It’s been about six months since we launched the new Joost.com – so we thought this was an appropriate time to take a look at how we’re doing. And the news is good – we’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth, increasing our site traffic nearly five-fold since our launch. People are now watching a million hours of Joost video every month, and in March, there were more than 15 million video views. "But as seductive as statistics are, they don’t tell the whole story – or the most interesting one." Geez, that last sentence certainly made the hair on my neck stand up, so I did a little comparison on unique visitor website analytics vendor Compete.com between Joost and its video service competitor Hulu: Wow! According to Compete.com's unique visitor statistics, Joost is washed up competitively.


What's your take on Joost? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished - Services that protect, maintain and optimize Cisco hardware Contact: Brad Reese | Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese
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