Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of Phil Knight's Shoe Dog and Ed Catmull's Creativity Inc. comes the incredible story of how Netflix went from concept to company - all told by co-founder Marc Randolph
Silicon Valley lore has it that Netflix was born out of a frustration with video stores' late fees, and while that is a convenient, charming story it is far from the truth. In reality, the idea was just one of many more and far worse proposals, like personalized baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Marc Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning. From this ever-shifting pool of potential ventures the pair, with Hastings as the primary investor and Randolph as the CEO, took a risk and founded Netflix. Not until years later, when a billion dollar company emerged out of a business model that - after countless disasters and flirtations with bankruptcy - seemed destined for failure would the risk pay off and become one of the mostly incredible and unlikely success stories of our time.
Now with over 150 million subscribers the triumph of Netflix feels inevitable, but at a time when brick and mortar video rental stores were king and DVD technology had yet to take off, its success was far from guaranteed. From having to pitch his own mother on being an early investor, to a motel business conference room that served as a first office, to helping develop Netflix's now-famous company culture, Marc Randolph's improbable journey exemplifies how anyone with grit, gut instincts and determination can transform the world we live in. Telling his story in energetic, compelling prose, Marc chronicles the personal and professional labors that went into the creation of the company that has disrupted the very foundations of the entertainment industry.
In the tradition of Phil Knight's Shoe Dog comes the incredible untold story of how Netflix went from concept to company-all revealed by co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph.
Once upon a time, brick-and-mortar video stores were king. Late fees were ubiquitous, video-streaming unheard of, and widespread DVD adoption seemed about as imminent as flying cars. Indeed, these were the widely accepted laws of the land in 1997, when Marc Randolph had an idea. It was a simple thought-leveraging the internet to rent movies-and was just one of many more and far worse proposals, like personalized baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning.
But Hastings was intrigued, and the pair-with Hastings as the primary investor and Randolph as the CEO-founded a company. Now with over 150 million subscribers, Netflix's triumph feels inevitable, but the twenty first century's most disruptive start up began with few believers and calamity at every turn. From having to pitch his own mother on being an early investor, to the motel conference room that served as a first office, to server crashes on launch day, to the now-infamous meeting when Netflix brass pitched Blockbuster to acquire them, Marc Randolph's transformational journey exemplifies how anyone with grit, gut instincts and determination can change the world-even with an idea that many think will never work.
What emerges, however, isn't just the inside story of one of the world's most iconic companies. Full of counter-intuitive concepts and written in binge-worthy prose, it answers some of our most fundamental questions about taking that leap of faith in business or in life: How do you begin? How do you weather disappointment and failure? How do you deal with success? What even is success?
From idea generation to team building to knowing when it's time to let go, That Will Never Work is not only the ultimate follow-your-dreams parable, but also one of the most dramatic and insightful entrepreneurial stories of our time.