Entrepreneur Profile: Reed Hastings of Netflix

Many of us college students rely on Netflix to get through those tough weekend mornings and procrastination filled nights. Reed Hastings is the Founder and CEO of Netflix and has brought this revolutionary company into many of our lives. Hastings was born in 1960 in Boston Massachusetts. He went into the Marine Corps after High school and the Peace Corps after graduating college from Bowdoin. After returning from the Peace Corps he founded his first company, Pure Software, which made trouble-shooting software in 1990 after inventing a tool to debug software.

After Pure Software merged with Atria Software in 1996 and then with Rational Software in 1997, Hastings then turned toward Netflix. Hastings came up with the idea when he discovered that he had a $40 late fee from the video store. On his way to the gym he had the idea of paying $30-$40 dollars to watch as little or as much as you wanted similar to a gym membership. The original Netflix involved mailing movies back and forth between the company and the consumer. In 2007, Netflix announced that they would stream the movies online. Mailing the DVDs would cost money, but streaming the movies online would be free. In 2011, Netflix changed their policies to charging for both streaming and mailing movies and television shows.

Hastings has his hands in other ventures such as being a director on the Board of Facebook, as well as serving on the board of Microsoft. Netflix has changed the way people view movies and TV shows. Some other companies, like Amazon and Hulu, are trying to come out with similar products to rival Netflix, but neither can compare. Netflix’s revenue last year was $4.37 billion compared to $1.7 billion by amazon and $1 billion by Hulu. Hastings has proven that little problems that we find in our everyday lives are common to many other people. Solutions to these problems may even change the world.