Here's a simple truth: When you surround a good idea with brilliant people, it changes. No matter how much you plan, great ideas have a mind of their own.
People watch 'The Social Network,' and what they hone in on is the wealth and the parties and the excitement, and they don't realize the grind and the 'gruelingness' and the disappointment.
In 'That Will Never Work,' I give readers a clear-eyed insider's look into how one of the least likely startups grew into one of the world's most successful companies.
When an opportunity comes knocking, you don't necessarily have to open your door. But you owe it to yourself to at least look through the keyhole.
I came from years and years in the direct marketing industry where everything is layered.
Long story short: I didn't start out thinking I'd be a tech entrepreneur.
That Will Never Work' is the untold story of Netflix. It's how a handful of people, with no experience in the video business, went from mailing a used Patsy Cline CD and ended up with a publicly traded company.
I'm not sure I want to preserve the old ways just for the sake of saying, 'I don't believe in change.'
Netflix is famous for its corporate culture, which rightly emphasizes directness and personal responsibility.
I don't know if there's a genetic marker for entrepreneurship. But if there is, it's most likely not a genius for planning. It's a propensity for action - and the ability to put failure behind you quickly. To stop being precious about your ideas.
Back in the early days at Netflix, it wasn't unheard of for me to tell prospective hires that I could see our stock going to a hundred dollars someday.
In the years after I left Netflix, the company I co-founded, I didn't want to puff myself up or tear anyone else down.
The real story of Netflix is complicated: an epic tale full of struggle, disappointment, drama, humor, and achievement.
The simple reason I like every idea is that I'm an optimist.
The biggest problem I see with early-stage entrepreneurs is they get the idea in their head, and they leave it in their head. And they begin embellishing it in their head, making it more ornate. They add on the second story to their dream house - then add the tennis court and the turrets and the gargoyles.
Negotiation is empathy. It's almost trite to say that if you can't put yourself in the seat of the other person you're speaking with, you're not going to do well. It's not about being a bully, not about making offers people can't refuse.
I wanted to use my story of starting Netflix - the whole thing, warts and all - to show how a dream could make it from the inside of one's head out into the real world.