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Reed Hastings

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Reed Hastings's Social Links


Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix as a DVD rental-by-mail company in 1997 and since led its transformation to become the world’s leading streaming subscription service for watching movies and television programs.

Previously, Reed founded Pure Software, which made tools for Unix software developers. He guided Pure into becoming one of the world’s 50 largest software companies before selling it to Rational Software in 1997.

In addition to being CEO of Netflix, Reed is a member of the board of directors of Facebook, as well as several educational non-profits.

Reed is an active educational philanthropist and served as President of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004.

Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983 and an MSCS in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University in 1988. Between Bowdoin and Stanford, Reed served in the Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Swaziland. Reed is married with two children.

Companies and Investments

Netflix (co-founder), Pure Software (Founder), Facebook (Board of Directors), Microsoft (Board of Directors)

Lessons Learned

Instead of focusing on capturing a small piece of a large market, focus on dominating a small market.

Be Flexible. In order to survive as a startup, you need to attract creative talent. This is why is important to be flexible because rigid processes will drive creative employees away. When market conditions change, creativity is needed to survive.

Only keep your superstar employees. It is not enough to let go of the poor performers. You need to get rid of the B+ employees too.

Be flexible with how you pay your employees. Some risk averse employees will want higher salaries, while risk takers might want more stock and a lower salary.

Empower your employees to take charge of their career. Let them think about their development and express their desires for long term growth.

Inspiring Quotes

Kevin Spacey - We have learned the lesson that the music industry did not learn: give people what they want when they want it in the form they want it in at a reasonable price and they will more likely pay for it rather than steal it.

Reed Hastings's Quotes

Reed Hastings - At Netflix, we think you have to build a sense of responsibility where people care about the enterprise. Hard work, like long hours at the office, doesn’t matter as much to us. We care about great work.

Reed Hastings - Guessing right is a skill developed over time. Not all smart risks work out, but many of them do.

Reed Hastings - With failures, you learn one of 99 things to avoid. So they are not that useful. I think it is more useful to learn from others’ failures.

Reed Hastings - Truly brilliant marketing happens when you take something most people think of as a weakness and reposition it so people think of it as a strength.

Reed Hastings - Do not be afraid to change the model.

Reed Hastings - …as an entrepreneur you have to feel like you can jump out of an aeroplane because you’re confident that you’ll catch a bird flying by. It’s an act of stupidity, and most entrepreneurs go splat because the bird doesn’t come by, but a few times it does.

Reed Hastings - The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.

Influential Books

Howard Schultz - Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time


Howard Schultz Jeff Bezos



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