Reed Hastings got the idea for Netflix after Blockbuster charged him a $40 late fee for “Apollo 13.” He’s now worth $3.1 Billion!
IT’S UNDERMINING NETWORK TV AND …OUR SEX LIFE?
We can only be talking about Netflix, the video streaming service that has about 140-million subscribers worldwide and is in more than half of American homes. So, how much do to know about the company that some American homes. So, how much do to know about the company that some say is partially responsible for turning us into addicted couch potatoes?
- How it began: No, as some claim, it wasn’t because the founder got mad over paying a $40 late fee at Blockbuster. Back in 1998, two California entrepreneurs wanted to get in on the internet boom and launched the world’s first online DVD rental store. Later in the mid-2000s, thanks to improved data speeds and bandwidth costs, they hit pay dirt with online streaming and have been on a roll ever since.
- Blockbuster blew it: In 2000, Netflix was losing money so they tried to get Blockbuster Video to buy them out. The Blockbuster bosses scoffed at the idea figuring they had a lock on the video market. Today, Netflix has annual revenue of about 12-billion-dollars. And what about Blockbuster? The company has gone belly-up and is down to one measly store in Bend, Oregon. Guess they keep it open for nostalgic reasons.
- Wanna watch Kibble & chill?: Netflix could easily have been known by another name. Early ideas included Replay, Directpix, and Luna. In fact, when they first incorporated, it was called Kibble, named after co-founder Marc Rudolph’s dog. Somehow, Netflix sounds like a more appropriate title.
- Nice work if you can get it: Prospective employees say the company is extremely picky and some have had to go through as many as eight interviews to join the team. But once you’re in, the pay and benefits are awesome (they have unlimited maternity and paternity leave) and, as long as you perform to their high standards, it’s a fantastic place to work. Oh, one thing, talking politics on the job is a no-no.
- They’re taking over both our living room and our bedroom: According to media analysts, Netflix has caused at least a 50% drop in viewership among the network TV stations. And even scarier, a university study shows an increasing number of couples get into bed and watch Netflix on their iPads instead of getting romantic.
Yes, even though the monthly fee is low, we’re willing to pay a high price to get our fix of Netflix.