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Reed Hastings: Quite Simply, We Are About Giving Viewers Control
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Reed Hastings: Quite Simply, We Are About Giving Viewers Control

It’s official: Netflix is out to conquer the world, change the way we watch TV further; and Reed Hashting (CEO/founder) is the world’s most influential person alive in the entertainment business. The founder of Netflix on building a streaming empire; inspiring by high school science teacher and having daily habits.

I’ve heard you don’t have an office in the Netflix building. Why?

– My office is my smartphone. In the same way Netflix harnessed the power of the internet to bring entertainment to people in a way that fits into their life, I am able to use the internet to work from wherever is convenient for me.

What does it feel like to transform the entertainment industry?

– People love TV and watch over a billion hours of linear TV each day. What they don’t love is being required to watch shows at a certain time on certain devices. That’s why Netflix is harnessing the power of the internet to allow viewers to watch TV wherever and whenever in a convenient way… Quite simply, we are about giving viewers control.

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Netflix & chill. When it comes to ‘all-time favourites’, he believes it really does depend on the mood: “There’s a time for ‘Beasts of No Nation’ and there’s time for ‘The Do Over’. I couldn’t commit to one film.” Photo Credit: Art Streiber

What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?

– To commit our first original series; House of Cards which cost us over a hundred million dollars. It was a huge gamble which obviously paid off.

If you could change a key strategic decision you made early on in the life of Netflix, what would it be?

– We would have expanded globally more quickly. We’re glad to finally be available in over 190 countries streaming over 125 million hours each day.

What is the point of opening up all of these countries at once?

– We have launched new countries by region or individually in the past. We’ve learned a lot from those launches and will learn a lot from this one as well. Given the consumer demand for great content delivered over the Internet, we wanted to start meeting that need now rather than waiting. And as we grow in these markets, we will keep learning about them and then building those learning into our service.

You launched your first three original movies in the last couple months. How have they performed?

– We’ve been pleased with our efforts in the original movie efforts. With additional titles planned for 2017; we will continue to diversify our film slate, just as we have with our documentaries and series.

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Mr. Netflix, on the last show he binge-watched: “Patton Oswalt’s Talking for Clapping. He actually just won an Emmy.” Photo Credit: Sébastien Micke / Paris Match

Do have any helpful habits or daily routines?

– Being nimble with work to ensure ultimate productivity and making a good cappuccino in the morning!

Any tricks regarding productivity?

– I’m pretty active, I enjoy a variety of sports so that’s keeps me fit. Also I can make a good coffee!

Have you had a personal mentor and what did you learn from them?

– My high school science teacher has always been an inspiration. They encouraged me to follow my

instincts and push myself forward.

My office is my smartphone. In the same way Netflix harnessed the power of the internet to bring entertainment to people in a way that fits into their life, I am able to use the internet to work from wherever is convenient for me.

Name one book that had a profound impact on your intellectual development.

– I would say “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. The book surveys the history of humankind from the evolution of archaic human species in the Stone Age up to the twenty-first century. Its main argument is that Homo sapiens dominates the world because it is the only animal that can cooperate flexibly in large numbers.

If you had a chance to give only one advice to young entrepreneurs, that would be…

– “Make as Few Decisions as Possible” – [Revised, and re-edited from an interview by Ali Tufan Koc]

 

Cover Photo Credit: Art Streiber


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