Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Netflix & Creative

When I was young, I remember going to the nearby Blockbuster with my family to rent movies for the weekend. It was always a struggle picking out only one or two movies that I wanted, since rentals were only for a few days and everyone in my family wanted to pick a movie. On top of this, during the week someone had to find time to go back to return the movies to avoid late charges. Although it was a somewhat of a hassle, this was all I knew. At this point in my life I had heard of Netflix, but it wasn't something my family was interested in since you had to wait for them to come in the mail. This all changed in 2007 Netflix introduced it's newest feature: video streaming. Customers had access to movies without having to leave their homes or waiting for them to come in. As someone who is extremely lazy, this innovation resonates with me.

Competition from companies such as Netflix are what led to the bankruptcy and closing of Blockbuster stores.

CEO Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph are the co-founders of Netflix. Although this story has been discredited, originally it was thought that the concept of video streaming came from Hastings owing Blockbuster a late fee of $40 for losing the movie Apollo 13. Allegedly while on the way to the gym, Hastings had the idea of paying a fixed cost regardless of as much or as little of the movie rental service you used - exactly what a gym membership is like. Although it sounds plausible, this story is fictitious. Yet both Hastings and Rudolph display creativity that we talked about in class. These men revolutionized the way we enjoy movies today. Now I can procrastinate my responsibilities at the click of a button, without even having to leave my house. Netflix was founded  in 1997, and got its competitive edge in 2007. The introduction of video streaming changed renting movies forever, for the lives of millions of people.



  1. I like the structural relation you drew between the way Hastings and Randolph saw or dealt with a problem and used creativity to fix it, similarly to the creative problem solving that we discuss in class in relationship to our creatives.

  2. Wow! This made me realize that many times, inventions are taken for granted and the true creative processes behind their emergence is not emphasized enough. I mean this in the sense that, to me, it seemed like “poof! We have Netflix” and now it’s hard to imagine a world where we don’t have Netflix. However, I didn’t spend much time wondering who came up with it, inspiration behind the idea or the true change it brought with it. While I am nostalgic about the days of going to blockbuster to choose a video (yet this is slightly reminiscent of Redbox), it really is convenient to have movies/shows available at the click of a button and from the luxury of one’s home. Thanks for sharing!


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