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Blue Moon VIII

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by TiVoPony, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. TiVoPony

    TiVoPony New Member

    May 11, 2002
    Wow, here we are again. Blue Moon number eight. :)

    Blue Moon. What is it? A lot of you probably have no idea, some of you have heard the story before, and a few even remember it by heart. It's a good story. ;)

    Today is the last Friday of March. It's a TiVo holiday. Everyone at TiVo puts down their pencils and goes home to play today. It's Blue Moon day.

    A Blue Moon is something special, something that happens only once in a great while. It was also the code name for the launch of the very first TiVo DVR.

    We were in a race. Our internal goal had always been to ship by March of '99. ReplayTV had shown a similar product at CES in January. March was coming fast and there was a ton of work to do. A lot of behind the scenes stuff, but some customer facing stuff too…like a program guide. We really needed a program guide before shipping the product. :)

    Nevermind all of the backend service support, finishing the manufacturing line, or the qualification hoops that Philips (our manufacturing/retail partner) was demanding we jump through.

    There was a big 'reality check' meeting, with reality clearly saying 'You're not going to make it. May is a nice month. Or maybe June. How about August?'. It true TiVo fashion we chose to ignore the nagging little voices that said 'you can't!' and agreed that we could and we would. We knew we had the best product. And we'd worked far too hard to be second to market. And Olivier promised we'd be remembered (yes, we watched a bit of Henry V at the end of the meeting).

    We needed a code name, and one of our engineers had noticed that there were two full moons in March of '99. We had our code name - Blue Moon. It's really nice when the code name has the launch date built into it, eh? :)

    The stretch between CES and the end of March was wild. It was the most adrenaline (and caffeine) injected development project I've ever seen. Everyone in the company pitched in - people were in the office 24/7. Literally! Futons were unfolded in the open space. A closet was converted into storage for pillows and blankets (and a smelly closet it was…it had been full of gym gear and spare autoparts before). Our company lunches (we used to have lunch brought in for everyone in those days) became company dinners. People set their normal lives aside, abandoned their families, and lived and breathed nothing but TiVo.

    And we did it. At the end of March we all met at the manufacturing line (Our products were built at a subcontractor in east San Jose at the time). Everyone in the company donned blue manufacturing smocks, and walked the line, watching blue and brown boxes with TiVo DVR's in them piling up on pallets and going out the door. Our partners were there. We drank champagne. Took lots of photos. We cheered, we shouted, we laughed. We had every employee sign the carton of the very first TiVo DVR (it's in a display case here at TiVo still). And we beat everyone else to the market and never looked back.

    Mike Ramsay, our CEO, announced that the last Friday in March would be a TiVo holiday, forevermore. Blue Moon Day. He ordered us all to stay home, he was padlocking the doors. Nobody was to come in. Go home and see your family & friends. Tell them the stories. Enjoy some daylight and fresh air. Do whatever you want - but don't come to work.

    And we did. Those that have heard the story before may remember that nine months following that first holiday five Blue Moon babies were born. So not everyone took the advice about daylight and fresh air. :)

    And now we're at Blue Moon number eight. TiVo is closed for business today. We're all off having a bit of fun. Remembering not only the Blue Moon launch, but the effort that has gone into developing and launching each and every project here at TiVo since. We work hard, but we recognize that we need to play some too. We even move our payday up a day so our finance folks can take the day off. But our customers support team, they'll still be working. Someone has to answer the phones! So please be extra nice to them if you should need to call today. It's a special day.

    And pat your TiVo doll on the head. Give your DVR a good dusting, change the batteries in the remote, show the little box that you still care. Think good thoughts. Post good things. Because it's getting to be 'a long time ago', and none of us should forget the effort that went into producing the world's first DVR. The St. Crispin's Day speech promised that. ;)


    “But we in it shall be remember'd;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:*
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.”


  2. sschwart

    sschwart It sucks to be me

    Apr 4, 2001
    Cambridge, MA
    Happy Blue Moon Day, Pony and everyone else at TiVo! Go enjoy your holiday :)
  3. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Thanks for the info! Fun post :) (To go along with a fun DVR)

    I remember reading about Tivos probably in Popular Science, and seeing them at Circuit City back then. I couldn't afford one at the time, but I figured I'd end up with one eventually.

    Took my almost six years, but now I'm a Tivo convert...probably for life :) (especially after looking hard at the alternatives these past few weeks...and realizing they're just not Tivo).
  4. jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

    Jun 20, 2000
    Happy Blue Moon Day, TiVo!

  5. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    Happy Blue Moon Day!

    Tip a few of these back while you are playing:

  6. Frankenstien

    Frankenstien New Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Ditto. :up:
  7. Gregor

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    Congratulations :)
  8. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

    Apr 2, 2001
    I remember when I first heard about these new fangled devices. The "tapeless VCR". Replay. TiVo. I saw that TiVo was to have a monthly service fee. Nuts to that, I thought. Replay would be the thing for me. Then, a good friend of mine set me straight. She told me how cool TiVo was. That the cool kids were using it. I had always trusted her on what was cool and hip in the past. So, I believed her again. To top it off, she hooked me up with a deal. It's been a pleasure ever since. I'll always be a big fan of yours, Shanan. :)

    Happy Blue Moon Day to all TiVo peeps.
  9. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    So no big announcement today?

  10. Hunter Green

    Hunter Green Curmudgeon

    Feb 22, 2002
    Had to tell the story last night to my wife after, reviewing my calendar as I usually do before bed, I said, "Hey, tomorrow is TiVo Blue Moon day!" and she didn't remember what that meant.
  11. shady

    shady Previously European

    May 31, 2002
    There's no one there to announce anything.
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Congrats again along w/wishes for many more to come!
  13. elrcastor

    elrcastor New Member

    Mar 7, 2004
    Double Ditto!!
  14. JasonD

    JasonD New Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    San Diego
    I would picture that blue moon would be like the star trek episode where they had festival at a certain time. I just remember this guy in the show jumping through a window carrying a girl in his arms. In fact it would be cool if you showed up to Tivo on thursday and they would greet you and say "You must here for blue moon friday" As they looked at each other knowingly.

  15. ufo4sale

    ufo4sale Active Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    I never get tired of that story. :)
  16. TiVoJerry

    TiVoJerry 00-16 TiVo Employee

    Jul 26, 2005
    Alviso, CA
    Ah yes, a lovely holiday indeed! My 6th personally (Shanan's too, I believe). Pony and Stephen have been here since this first one.

    JustBill, are you going to pay a visit?

    I'm off to go see a movie....
  17. JustBill

    JustBill TiVo Fan

    Feb 13, 2002
    Alamdea, CA
    Congrats to the TiVo team on continued success -- enjoy the well deserved rest!
  18. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Great story about Blue Moon .... hadn't heard it told quite like that. There's 12 people in a Texas courtroom I wish could here that story. ;)

    My Tivo doll has been patted on the head. I've showed all my Tivo boxes that I care ... I've cleared space for their new big brothers Series 2 DT and Series 3. :D

    Hoping we don't have to wait as long for them as the next Blue Moon baby.

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