The world’s largest American media services provider and production company, Netflix is the creation of none other than Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. He is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix and is also on several other boards along with non-profit organizations. Currently, Reed is an American billionaire and the former member of the California State Board of Education.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts on 8th October 1916, Reed did his schooling from Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1981, he entered the Marine Corps and spent his time in Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico. However, further pursuing his career here, he went to join the Peace Corps. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Arts from Bowdoin College in Mathematics.
After having served a Peace Corps for quite a time, Hastings completed his master’s degree in computer science in 1988 from Stanford University. His first job was at Adaptive Technology, where he worked to create a tool for debugging software. He left this company in 1991 intending to start his own company, Pure Software, which manufactured tools to debug various software.
Hastings was always in the search of something new. With Pure Software, his innovative and expertise skills with computers were somewhere falling apart. So, in 1997, finally, after a lot of thought and working on it, Hastings and former Pure Software employee, Marc Randolph co-founded Netflix offering flat rate movie rental through email to various US customers. It combined two advancing technologies out of which one was the use of DVD that made it much easier to send emails than VHS-cassettes and the other was an online website to order them from.
Netflix was headquartered in Los Gatos, California and it has a collection of one lakh titles with more than 100 million subscribers. Slowly, Netflix grew and the company came to get noticed globally for its innovative management practices. It offered large severance packages to its employees to keep their working strategy consistent and in accordance with the company’s environment. It was a wonderful step when Netflix allowed its employees to avail “work from home” facility when they got sick. An internal culture guide was created by Hastings to let Netflix employees discuss the company’s culture and theories among themselves. Later, this became a pre-employment screening tool in 2009 that prevented unskilled and incompatible people to join Netflix.
Hastings has a vision of internet television. He has also credited his strategized ideas into YouTube for developing a video streaming service. This concept helped Hastings to launch a Netflix service streaming movies and television to computers in 2007. What started as a small media service, has become a giant of the internet today.
Netflix services alone constitute about 15% of the world’s internet bandwidth. Reed has astonishingly found a world’s leading platform to channel entertainment through the internet on a wide range of genre.
Today, Reed’s Netflix has more than 151 million paid subscribers across 190 countries in the world. Other than TV series, documentaries and feature films, Netflix also hosts multiple varieties of shows on diverse genres and languages of its production.