THE BEST STARTUP BOOKS EVER WRITTEN - VOL. 1


 

BOOK #1


"THAT WILL NEVER WORK" - the Birt of Netflix and the Amazing lfe of an Idea.


Author: Marc Randolph

 

Discover the incredible untold story of how Netflix went from concept to company – all revealed by co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph.


 

Are you old enough to remember Blockbuster stores? I do, so this may revel my age but I don’t mind. At least, I’ve experienced a phenomenon that does not exist these days – crazy high fees for rentals not returned on time. I particularly remember one that was in Teaneck, NJ, which I used to visit after school, mostly on Fridays so I could gather in front of my Sony DVD player during the weekend. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster consisted of 9,094 stores and employed approximately 84,300 people in the United States and in other countries. Company filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Nearly all stores closed 2013. Do you want to know why it really happened? The answer is found in this book. Anyway, I’m most certain of one thing that Blockbuster regrets the most till this day that it didn’t purchase Netflix back in 2000 when Reed Hastings asked former Blockbuster CEO John Antioco if they would buy company for $50 million. Now with over 150 million subscribers, Netflix’s triumph feels inevitable. As of 2020, Netflix revenue was $25 billion, reported net earnings of around $1.45 billion (as of third quarter of 2021) and today its stock is fluctuating around $539 per share. It all started back 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. Indeed, Marc never gave up and, as a result, him as the CEO and Hastings as the primary investor, they founded a company. Not many people know but its name wasn’t Netflix to start with. It was first called Kibble. The name was simply a placeholder, it referred to the idea that a product isn't a success unless "the dogs eat the dog food," as Randolph has phrased it once.

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 cope with 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. Read it and your perspective on building your own company will change drastically. I highly recommend the book to all startup founders.


 


Meet the author: Marc Randolph


Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor and investor. Marc was co-founder of Netflix, serving as their founding CEO, as the executive producer of their web site, and as a member of their board of directors.

Although best known for starting Netflix, Marc’s career as an entrepreneur spans more than four decades. He’s founded or co-founded more than half a dozen other successful start-ups, mentored rising entrepreneurs including the co-founders of Looker Data which was recently sold to Google for $2.6B, and invested in numerous successful tech ventures.

He is a frequent speaker at industry events, works extensively with young entrepreneur programs, sits on the board of the environmental advocacy group 1% for the Planet, and chairs the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Board of Trustees.


Marc Randolph's Personal Website


Purchase this book directly from Marc Randolph’s website



 

Blog © Daniel Kulig | 2022

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