The video rental company has announced that it will no longer split its streaming and DVD services into two separate units.
But that’s not the only big news to come out of Netflix this morning. In a surprise turn of events, CEO Reed Hastings has announced that he has decided to become a stand-up comedian.*
“For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming,” Hastings wrote on the Netflix blog on September 18, 2011. “Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us) because they are afraid to hurt their initial business.”
Hastings wasn’t afraid. In fact, he was determined to hurt his business – one laugh at a time. “Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly,” he wrote.
Or do they?
“There is a difference between moving quickly – which Netflix has done very well for years – and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case,” Hastings said in a press release on October 10, 2011.
“It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail serve to ‘Qwikster,'” Hastings wrote on September 18.
“It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs,” Hastings wrote on October 10.
“So we realised that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently,” Hastings wrote on September 18.
“This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster,” Hastings wrote on October 10.
“Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust,” Hastings wrote on September 18.
“We value our members, and we are committed to making Netflix the best place to get movies & TV shows,” Hastings wrote on October 10.
Hastings hopes to take his show on the road, with planned stops at several political fundraisers. According to people familiar with the matter, Hastings wants to show politicians how to flip-flop the right way.
*In case you couldn’t tell, this was a joke. Reed Hastings has no intention of becoming a stand-up comedian. The quotes and Qwikster news, however, were entirely real and hilarious all on their own.
— Louis Bedigian