There’s a really interesting interview that KPCB’s John Doerr does with Netflix’ Reed Hastings up as a Product Hunt podcast. Here are some quotable quotes:
On advice for people working in startups or big companies:
You’ve got to be authentic. You have no hope if you pretend to be Reed Hastings or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. You’ve really got to get comfortable with yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. People are inspired by authenticity – I’m surprised by how many people feel like they’re acting, or try to act. You may be quiet and that’s fine. But if you have that fierce will for the institution to be great and your own role is secondary, and you authentically accept that in whatever you do, then you will be greatly accepted.
On what Reed Hastings thinks is in store for the future of Netflix:
When we think about what’s going to be disrupt Netflix: probably internet streaming is like electricity, where it’s got a couple of 100 years’ run. It’s unlikely (to disappear) as it’s a substrate foundation on which things are built on top. The likely case is that some new form of entertainment that’s so compelling – (people will) come to look at in the same way (as they do) movies & TV shows, to be like a novel. But what everyone is doing – is like an Oculus Rift with a morphine drip. So you compare that experience against watching a good TV show – it’s uneven odds. But eventually there’ll be some tech-based entertainment forms that supplant movies and TV shows.
This is the interesting thing about Netflix (I’m currently finishing Jessica Jones, having just finished The Good Wife and just started Master of None) – they’re riding each wave of consumer consumption so pragmatically, rooted no doubt in this belief that the internet is going to be like air if it isn’t already (i.e for most countries where broadband is not a luxury). I find it fascinating he mentioned the Rift, and won’t be surprised if we see a Rift-enabled series at some point in the future.
I remember the days I used to post Netflix DVDs back and forth to their warehouse to get my next movie fix in New York, and now I sit and binge-watch TV shows at home straight from a smart TV. The times, they sure are a-changin’.
You can listen to the podcast here.