How Real Lost Its Way

Rob Glaser was busy building bowling alleys and buying shiny baubles when he should have been obsessing over his company, Real, which started out as the king of streaming media, but lost its way and handed over the lead to the likes of Microsoft and lately to Apple. Jeff Louella tells a poignant story from a user’s perspective. A story that reads more like a love affair gone wrong, ending in acrimony, recriminations and a few tears of frustration. As I read his post, I could not but help nodding my head in agreement.

The company that once revolutionized the internet, is now on its way to becoming a penny stock. I wish Real Networks well and want them to know that they have changed my life forever. And for that, I will always be grateful. But as of today, Real Player will be uninstalled from my computer until they rethink and again revolutionize their product.

He talked about botch decisions, and the greed which made them charge for everything on Real. Ironically, on a Mac, the Real experience is still better than Microsoft Media Player, and I still end up using Microsoft’s product. Because I feel confident that the product, despite Apple vs Microsoft skirmishes is going to be around for a while. Louella’s tome is an all-too familiar story of a start-up that once ruled the world, got arrogant and then slowly lost it all. Much like Netscape. (Let this be a reminder to all those who are current stock market darlings, for hubris, brings even greatest civilizations down!)


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