Avner Ronen is the founder and CEO of Boxee, a freeware media player software platform. Prior to founding Boxee, Avner co-founded Odigo, an instant messaging service.
Sometimes it takes being naïve to start a company in a space that begs for disruption. You’re not familiar with all the details. You’re also not taking into account many barriers and walls you’re going to come across, and I think if you’re very much into the details and you see all those walls and barriers and friction in advance, you may decide there is no way I'm going to do it. I'm going to do something else. But I think once you establish yourself and you’re beyond the point of just showing the world who you are I think the most important thing is listen and then find the path to work with the industry in case you need it. I mean in some cases you disrupt an industry and you don’t need to be part of it. You’re just breaking it down, tearing it down. That’s not the case with Boxee, where I think that we’re in a place trying to represent the change towards the Internet as a distribution model.
When we initially came out and we got this backlash from some of the media companies about us bringing content to the TV that was purposed for your laptop and not for your TV initially we thought they don’t get it, you know, it’s old media. They don’t understand what users are doing. I, actually, coming out of those discussions, I think they totally get it. They understand the changes that are happening in the landscape. Sometimes it’s just very hard for them to move because there is billions of dollars at play for them in their existing distribution channels and they need to be very careful about it.
In my opinion the internet is going to be the best thing that ever happened to content makers and content producers and anybody that is in the content value chain. My role in this transition is to try and push for a change, as gradual as it may come and as slow as it may come, and I think over the past three years there has been great changes in the right direction. I think the trajectory is overall positive. They understand us better and we understand them better as well and we’re patient. I think it's gonna take time, but eventually it's gonna go in the right direction.