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How Netflix Became a Thing
Hwang Hae-soo  |  haisoo08@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2017.08.05  16:35:59
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 How Netflix Became a Thing  

While Netflix hasn’t had the impact of its previous success in Korea, it’s founder is undoubtedly one of the most influential individuals of the 21st century media landscape. Not only did his project result in a platform that has revolutionized how content is consumed by the public, it has also paved a new way for the personalization of entertainment. Thus, it would be an understatement to say that Reed Hastings has been successful, both as an entrepreneur and idealist.
 
           Hastings was a man who grew up in an ordinary environment. But perhaps the one thing that separated him from others was his love for adventure. After graduating from university, Hastings decided to enroll in the Marine Corps, and later said so in an interview that such experiences had helped him during his early years founding a company by giving him courage. After his military service, he taught math in Swaziland for three years and worked at a software company as a developer. The program he made was a huge hit, but because of an acquisition of the company by a larger conglomerate, the work environment drastically changed due to meaningless bureaucracy, and such changes were why he left and started a company of his own, Netflix.
 
           In 1997, Hastings claimed that the idea of Netflix came to him after an everyday encounter with the local DVD rental store. He had to pay an overdue fee that was around 40 dollars, and he found the experience to be annoying. He realized that he could come up with a better business model by referring to how his gym membership worked; instead of having to pay additional fees every time a client borrowed a DVD, one could borrow as many as needed and pay a membership fee that would cover all costs for a certain time, like a month or year. Hastings could profit from his past experiences by improving on already existing services. Hastings further ensured the success of his new-found company by adapting to the digital era. Instead of just relying on what was already working for them, Netflix was transformed into a whole new platform that delivered content over the internet when and what the users preferred. This type of renewal is hard to find in most companies since it often involves a collective effort and innovation. Hastings fostered such by enforcing his ideals of what a good working environment was, and this resulted in a unique workplace where workers are free to pursue new ideas while minimizing bureaucratic obstacles.
 
           For someone who is responsible for an entire company, Hastings could be viewed as reckless since his actions could have led to major repercussions of his workers and peers. However, such daring and creative endeavors are perhaps what allowed him to reach success in the first place. Utilizing past experiences and improving upon them, Reed Hastings is a man who was not only in the right place at the right time, but also an icon of consistent and innovative entrepreneurship.
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