Netflix CEO thought he could do a better job at developing a recommendation algorithm than his engineers. He failed – and the episode shaped the way the company has looked at data ever since.
Well no one saw this one coming: a comparison between Steve Ballmer and Tim Cook; the Future of Television according to Netflix; 3D printers and guns; plus Touchscreen Toddlers and San Francisco’s real estate inflation are some of topics covered this week.
TV is fundamentally changing from a linear delivery model to a world in which apps compete with each other, and Netflix is spending billions to be part of that future.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings doesn’t really think that many people are sharing their accounts with extended family members. His remarks came in response to an estimate that 10 million people watch Netflix without paying for it.
Netflix streamed more than four billion hours of movies and TV shows to its members in the first quarter of this year.
With Netflix on a roll, its big European rival — Amazon-owned Lovefilm — seems more and more desperate to staunch the flow of subscribers quitting the service and moving elsewhere.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg just called Netflix’s famous company culture presentation “the most important document ever to come out of the Valley.”
The SEC says Netflix is in trouble for sharing news on Facebook rather than through a more traditional method like a press release. The incident shows how regulators can fail to recognize transformations in our communications infrastructure.
I still don’t see the case for technology company buying Netflix. Content services are valuable to technology companies only insofar as they’re proprietary to a particular technology platform, which is at odds with Netflix’s core value proposition of ubiquitous access. Plus, most of Netflix’s profits still come from its fast-declining DVD business, which I can’t imagine any technology company would want, let alone be willing to pay a premium to acquire.
Carl Icahn is clearly betting he can force Netflix into a sale that will produce a windfall for his stake. But if that doesn’t work he will almost certainly go after the cash Reed Hastings is now spending in Latin America and Europe.