You’ve heard the Netflix founding story, right? The one about an entrepreneur who gets fed up with video rental fees, has a brilliant idea about DVDs-by-mail, and launches a company that revolutionizes the entertainment world? It’s the stuff of startup legend. Except that’s not the whole picture. The full story is a lot more complicated, involves a lot more people, and makes for a much better, more creative story.
As co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, Marc Randolph fundamentally altered how the world experiences media. Today, the success of Netflix might feel like a foregone conclusion, but Randolph’s story shines a bright light on all the times it nearly doesn’t work and all the people who help make sure it does. They include investors who fervently believe in the idea and those who have to be convinced, to skeptics pointing out crucial flaws, and a core team of brilliant optimists charging ahead despite the odds. The story offers a real education in the craft of the startup venture, with plenty of insights that remain relevant and applicable today, in Silicon Valley and far beyond.