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BitGravity’s Philosophy: Take It Easy

An article on The Motley Fool caught my eye earlier this week, since even though Fool focuses on publicly-traded companies this one discussed a streaming content delivery network (CDN) company that’s not publicly traded. I followed up with the company, BitGravity, and spent some time talking to the CEO and Founder, Perry Wu.

Wu’s demeanor in the Fool article was described as brash, but I’ll chalk it up to a founder’s passion as I found him more laid back (or maybe I’m just in New York too much these days) and open to most any question I asked. He may have a bit of a right to be brash, though, as they’ve just closed a round of funding.

"In the past 18 months, CDN and P2P-based delivery vendors have raised over $300 million to build out and deploy content delivery services," said Dan Rayburn in his BusinessOfVideo blog. "So it should be no surprise to hear that BitGravity announced last week that it had raised $2.5 million from Allen and Company and Blake Krikorian, the co-founder and CEO of Sling Media."

I also agree with Rayburn’s assessment from the Fool article that I don’t really understand what exactly makes BitGravity different, but Wu described it with the analogy of a local area network (LAN) versus a wide area network (WAN).

"We’re very much an engineering-driven company," said Wu, "and we seek to live up to the billing of providing high quality, feature-rich video products in a reliable way. To do this, we had to design a delivery system from the ground up, not relying on the tools that many of the LAN-type tools that CDNs use to overlay on to a WAN."

When asked to elaborate on that issue, Wu talked in terms of being able to rapidly deliver initial bits, in terms of some sort of super-seeding that seems akin to peer-to-peer delivery.

Shifting gears, I asked Wu about the fact that BitGravity has taken quite a bit of time to get off the ground (Wu left ComVentures in 2006 and has worked on BitGravity non-stop since that time) without a significant number of customers to show for it.

"Our sales method is talking to customers in terms of evangelizing how their business can benefit," said Wu. "The customers we do have are often the result of word of mouth, having proved our worth to a company the new customer respects."

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