It may not be too late for TiVo to learn a lesson from Segway‘s success in lobbying legislators through the use of technology that’s compelling enough to sell itself. FCC Chairman Michael "Colin’s Son" Powell pronounced the TiVo he received for Christmas "God’s machine" which is twice as impressive coming from a man who was nominated by conservative born-again republicans.
TiVo might be able to sway legislation in their favor, or win the sympathies of the members of congress who will likely decide their fate in the battle against the big media companies who think skipping commercials is stealing. My advice to TiVo? Keep doing what you’re doing in the tech realm, as the move towards hardware that’s better-networked with other devices is very important in your market. But learn to network in the human realm, as well. Send as many TiVo units to members of Congress for free as you did to members of MetaFilter for free. Hell, send a person along to install the damn thing. With decent installations, it shouldn’t cost you more than $500 a pop. Your total cost for the effort shouldn’t take more than $50k and it’ll be the best marketing money you’ve ever spent.
Just an idea.