In awe of Netflix

To say I’m in awe of Netflix is truly an understatement.

They started over 15 years ago by sending us plastic disks in the mail, in red envelopes no less. Those DVDs came in to us with fast delivery, in typically excellent condition and without late fees. Their website was beautiful. 

It was love at first sight. 

They focused on the user and have never forgotten their priorities. 

When they made the big switch to streaming shows there were haters a mile long. Probably longer.

I recall talking to executives at cable companies and big media companies about Netflix at the time. Their take on Netflix new initiative: “they don’t have compelling content. It’s all library stuff. We have all the good, new stuff”.

All the while, Netflix kept focusing on the user. They put their product everywhere. In DVD players, connected TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, iPad, and iPhone etc. They offered something easy & ; ubiquitous which is pretty much the opposite of how we experience cable or HBO. 

Netflix on demand quickly became a favorite with both tech early adopters and folks like my mom, who is 72, and loves watching Netflix shows on her iPad. 

Then Netflix delivered their own show — the hit series House of Cards. They gave it to us without restrictions and without commercials. Watch all of our shows anytime you want and anywhere you want it. We will make it easy for you. Season 1 was fantastic. I can’t wait for the next season. 

And now the numbers speak for themselves. Netflix has more paying subscribers than HBO. That is a big fucking deal.

Back in 2010 the head of HBO made this snark about Netflix:

“It’s a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world?” said Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the chief executive ofTime Warner, in an interview last week. “I don’t think so.”

Then, a year later he offered this gem:

“I would say it [Netflix] is like a 200 pound chimp — it’s not an 800 pound gorilla,” Bewkes told CNBC in an interview on Thursday.

The naysayers need to stop protecting the status quo and get with the program. 

Because the 200 pound chimp is pretty damn awesome and making you look bad.