from the something-of-an-accident dept
HBS Working Knowledge has an excerpt from a new book about The Weather Channel which focuses on the creation of weather.com, which the title describes as “a dot com that worked”. Of course, if you read the article, it’s not really clear how well it worked. Nowhere does it say that weather.com is actually making money or how they’re doing. It also is a bit confusing, and you get the feeling the author is more congratulating himself on having been there to create weather.com than giving any real business lessons. For example, at one point he quotes the person who founded weather.com as saying they were working on a number of different “new” products, including for interactive TV, telephone, books, videos, and the internet – and clearly states that none was any more of a priority than any other. Yet, in the very next sentence the author claims that the internet was the “highest” priority – directly contradicting the quote he just put in. Later on, he also talks about the reason weather.com was such a success was how integrated it was with The Weather Channel. Then, for no clear reason, he suddenly says that the two entities had to be separated, and that this was a good thing. It’s not clear why they needed to be separated, or why it’s a good thing. Based on this excerpt, I don’t have much interest in reading any more of the book, but if anyone else is interested you can find out more info about The Weather Channel, by Frank Batten.