Not an idea in the world has ‘just occurred’ to their owners or in this case – founders, just like that. There is mostly and usually some trigger for it to happen, for it to appear in front of them so clearly that they forget to do anything else. Some of the people in the story are contributors, and some are the origins. This is the same case in the origin story of our very own and personal favorite – Netflix. Reed Hastings founded Netflix & mark Randolph almost about twenty years ago, almost more or less two decades as you may say. Netflix success is supposed to be one the most successful underdog victory story on the roads that are crossed between television and technology.
Your love for Netflix will not be determined on the degree or if you have heard the famous DVD rental story of Reed Hasting & Mark Randolph – they are okay if you keep merely using it. However, the founders of the online video streaming platform have somewhat of an intriguing origin story of the platform. It is told that the founder came up with the idea for formerly with the point of DVD by e-mail rental commerce that will go forward and secure the video rental supplies in the whole nation – and all of this because he was embarrassed when he did not have enough money to pay.
However, the co-founder Mark Randolph does not seem to agree with Reed Hastings tale of how the platform was founded. According to this serial entrepreneur, there was no exact ‘Aha!’ moment in this tale; the late DVD fee tale is more of tall and glorified and tall tale of what happened. According to Randolph, it was & still is a work and input of a lot of people. He does not discard Hastings DVD story – he is just saying that there is a lot more to the ‘story’ than the late fees.
It is more often or not said the Hastings & Randolph wanted to be the ‘Amazon of something – anything.’ The dawn of DVD which could hold hours of movies or videos & can be delivered at a somewhat lesser rate presented the perfect & best opportunity to the both of them. You can say that maybe all of these ‘origin stories’ are true or maybe none of them are true at all. According to Randolph – all these origin stories are exactly what they are called – ‘stories’ as it is quite a complicated process. But at the end of the day, it is a good story, and Netflix is also a story, so he is okay with the story.
There were different people at different stages with a different set of skills and different opinions that worked for the foundation of the online streaming platform – some had more than enough experience about overnight shipping whereas some had quite a right amount of skill and experience and a better understanding about the power that personalization holds. And it is all in all, according to him, a process after all in which some people have contributed and helped in building an idea.
If you go and try to explain that to people – the multiple persons, multiple months efforts – soon the number of lending ears will reduce to a very well let us say low numbers of people will be just straight out sleeping in their chairs. The story about the rental DVD fees is one of the great ones as it tells about what problem Netflix has solved over the years – but is it a complete one? A rough idea? Even Hastings is not going to agree on that one.
Hastings & Randolph were moving forward on their career and Hastings was looking forward to going on the road of becoming a philanthropist, and Randolph wanted to start a company of his own and hence began the process of searching & looking at what you know to be hundreds of ideas. There were some predefined criteria by both of them – had to be e-commerce, had to have some deeply rooted personalization, and also a logistics barrier to prevent anyone from coming after them – the lookout for essential criteria was going on. Video rental gave them that critical criterion.
This video streaming platform before was initially called Kibble and was later renamed to Netflix.in & then later was renamed to Netflix only. Almost now more than a decade later, Netflix had changed the way how we were watching videos when they started streaming their videos. Today it is said to be one of the largest Hollywood distributors and globally one of the largest producers of original online streaming videos and also one of the best and well-known storyteller on a global level.