Boxee announced today that its Netflix app has been delayed because of Netflix security requirements, and I joked on Twitter that maybe the company’s misfortunes are the fault of the “oxi” sound in its name. After all, Moxi didn’t do too well with its retail efforts either.
However, in thinking about it further, I realized there are other parallels worth drawing between Boxee and Moxi. Both companies introduced revolutionary products that got a lot of people jazzed about a new paradigm for watching TV. Both ran into challenges around content security – Boxee with content distributors/producers, including Netflix, and Moxi with CableCARD. (CableCARD installation issues hamper retail DVR success, and Moxi initially also had no VOD offering because of CableCARD limitations.) Both companies got their products to market after multiple delays, but missed the window when their products were truly innovation leaders.
Perhaps Boxee can succeed where Moxi has failed. But as the GigaOM folks point out, it’s always a challenge to meet the demands of a conservative content industry while still appealing to early-adopter consumers. Netflix has managed it so far, but only by getting the timing just right. Boxee has to do the same.