- Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, first started out as a salesman and eventually became a billionaire
- He started a few businesses before finally developing Netflix and his success story is massive
- The Netflix platform now has over 193 million subscribers worldwide
Reed Hastings, the co-founder, chairman, and co-CEO of the platform Netflix started from humble beginnings to get to where he is today. He first began his career as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, then joining the Marine Corps and later graduating with his degree from Stanford University.
Along with some partners, Hastings started his first business when he was 31 years old. The company was very successful and doubled revenue every year before turning public in 1995. When this happened, he got the idea to start Netflix after having a bad experience with a traditional movie rental store.
Hastings had a late fee for a movie he had rented. He told the New York Times in 2006:
"It was six weeks late and I owed the video store $40. I had misplaced the cassette. It was all my fault. I didn't want to tell my wife about it. And I said to myself, 'I'm going to compromise the integrity of my marriage over a late fee?'
"Later, on my way to the gym, I realised they [the gym] had a much better business model. You could pay $30 or $40 a month and work out as little or as much as you wanted."
Netflix was then founded in 1997 along with entrepreneur Marc Randolph. The company had 239 000 subscribers within one year and users could keep the films they rented as long as they wanted without having to pay a late fee.
There were bumps along the road with Netflix losing subscribers because of new subscription fees, however, they soon recovered thanks to their original content. Now, Netflix boasts 193 million paid memberships all around the world.
Hastings spends millions on giving back to the community through philanthropy with the majority of it going towards education.
Briefly.co.za previously reported on how Netflix works in South Africa. The disadvantage of this media streaming service, however, is the fact that there is a limitation on the country you are using it.
For instance, if you are in South Africa, you cannot access shows from other countries like the UK. Therefore, this means that you will miss British TV shows. The same goes if you are outside South Africa, you will not be able to access South African shows.
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