Watch Anywhere: What 20 Million Subscribers Taught Netflix About the Future of Video
Reed Hastings, Cofounder & CEO, Netflix
in conversation with Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson has served as editor in chief of WIRED since 2001. Under his leadership, the magazine has garnered nine National Magazine Awards and 19 additional nominations and has won the prestigious top prize for General Excellence three times. In 2010, AdWeek named WIRED the Magazine of the Decade. Anderson is the author of two New York Times best sellers, The Long Tail and Free: The Future of a Radical Price, both of which are based on influential articles published in WIRED. He is also a cofounder of 3D Robotics, an open source robotics company. Before joining WIRED, he was a business and technology editor at The Economist. He began his media career at the two premier science journals, Nature and Science. In 2007, Anderson was named to the Time 100, the news magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people.
Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997 and has led the company since its earliest days. The firm's innovative business model soon transformed the video rental landscape, as little red envelopes supplanted brick-and-mortar chain stores. Netflix withstood copycat challenges from large, established retailers and in 2007 lapped its competitors by launching Internet streaming. Today, the company has more than 20 million subscribers.
An engineer by training, Reed also founded Pure Software in 1991, a company that created software development tools. He built Pure into one of the world's 50 largest software firms before selling it in 1997. Reed is an active educational philanthropist and served as president of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. In 2005 he was named to Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people, and in 2010 he was honored by Barron's as one of our most respected CEOs and by Fortune as Business Person of the Year.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings discusses how the company has been laser-focused on streaming media to the home via the Internet since the earliest days. "We had to set-up the whole business for streaming, but the network wasn't big enough," says Hastings. Now he predicts many households will have gigabit to the home access within the next ten years.
Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford Research Institute, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. ARPANET's purpose was to conduct research into computer networking in order to provide a secure and survivable communications system in case of war. As the network quickly expanded, academics and researchers in other fields began to use it as well. In 1971 the first program for sending e-mail over a distributed network was developed; by 1973, the year international connections to ARPANET were made (from Britain and Norway), e-mail represented most of the traffic on ARPANET. The 1970s also saw the development of mailing lists, newsgroups and bulletin-board systems, and the TCP/IP communications protocols, which were adopted as standard protocols for ARPANET in 198283, leading to the widespread use of the term Internet. In 1984 the domain name addressing system was introduced. In 1986 the National Science Foundation established the NSFNET, a distributed network of networks capable of handling far greater traffic, and within a year more than 10,000 hosts were connected to the Internet. In 1988 real-time conversation over the network became possible with the development of Internet Relay Chat protocols (seechat). In 1990 ARPANET ceased to exist, leaving behind the NSFNET, and the first commercial dial-up access to the Internet became available. In 1991 the World Wide Web was released to the public (via FTP). The Mosaic browser was released in 1993, and its popularity led to the proliferation of World Wide Web sites and users. In 1995 the NSFNET reverted to the role of a research network, leaving Internet traffic to be routed through network providers rather than NSF supercomputers. That year the Web became the most popular part of the Internet, surpassing the FTP protocols in traffic volume. By 1997 there were more than 10 million hosts on the Internet and more than 1 million registered domain names. Internet access can now be gained via radio signals, cable-television lines, satellites, and fibre-optic connections, though most traffic still uses a part of the public telecommunications (telephone) network. The Internet is widely regarded as a development of vast significance that will affect nearly every aspect of human culture and commerce in ways still only dimly discernible.