A couple of months ago I read How to Ignore Your Best Customers, the TiVo Way (Part 1)  which begins

We’re big TiVo fans, and have been for three years.

There’s tens of thousands of us who evangelize the company’s precedent-setting digital video recorder and how it has changed our lives. Online, 40,000 of TiVo’s customers have self-organized the TiVo Community forum, which we joined a year ago. The group is Beyond Thunderdome-loyal.

Browse the forums and you will find spirited discussions on topics as varied as these:

  • Why TiVo customers often take over for a hapless retail store salesperson

  • How-to guides on the best ways to convince a loved one to buy and keep a TiVo

  • The May 2004 conference in Las Vegas for TiVo enthusiasts that forum members are organizing

For most companies, a self-organized community of 40,000 passionate fans is unfathomable—a Holy Grail and marketing nirvana that many wish for but few attain.

The interesting thing is that I find myself to be one of these people. Whenever I start talking to someone who doesn't have a TiVo about owning one the conversation eventually a sales pitch. I've found that talking to people about the iPod to be the same way. Halfway through the conversation there's the frustration that washes over me because I can't seem to find the words to truly express to the person I'm talking to about how much the iPod or TiVo would change that aspect of their lives.

Watching TV hasn't been the same since I bought the TiVo and I can't imagine ever going back to not having one. Now I have my iPod I can't imagine what would possess me to buy a CD ever again yet I can listen the almost any song I've ever liked from James Brown to Metallica to 50 Cent anywhere I want, whenever I want.

I can't remember any technology ever affecting me this significantly. I believe when I first got a broadband connection it was the same thing and before that probably the first time I got on the World Wide Web. Before that nothing...