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A startup guide for entrepreneurs from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

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Betty Allen
Betty Allen
I’m the Under 30 Editorial Community Lead at Restic Magazine. Previously, I directed marketing at a mobile app startup in New York. I’ve also worked at The New York Times and New York Observer. I attended the University of Pennsylvania where I studied English and creative writing.

Most people know the term “Netflix and Chill” and have been on Netflix binges before. The media streaming platform is huge worldwide, and is considered to be a staple in many people’s lives. But not many people know the name behind Netflix, Reed Hastings. Being a Marine, and then joining the Peace Corps, Hastings never thought he would be an entrepreneur. After starting a software company which became successful, Netflix became his most successful venture.

Here are some things to use as a guide for startups from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Make few decisions

Hastings does not get too actively involved with Netflix; he can apparently go a whole quarter without making a single decision for the company. Instead, he entrusts his employees and his team to make the decisions for the company. His team is entrusted with big decisions, and can pass them without involving Hastings himself. Netflix has a meticulous hiring process, meaning only the best talent is hired, which reduces the chance of a mistake being made in the decision making process.

Stay ahead of the competition

In the past, movie rentals were a big industry, with Blockbuster dominating the market. Netflix realised the demand for on-demand movie streaming, and completely eliminated the need for movie rentals at all. It is very important to stay ahead of the market and realise what the demographic needs, and filling that need. Becoming complacent can make you end up like Blockbuster.

Hastings took advantage of the need to beat Blockbuster, and now Netflix is the most used on-demand media streaming platform in the world, whilst Blockbuster is defunct.

Reed Hastings is an unlikely entrepreneur, however he is highly successful by filling the need of a demographic, and his wealth grew as a result. These are some things to learn from his story, which you can apply to your own entrepreneurial pursuits.

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