Netflix Moves Like a Startup

Update 10/10/2011: Ahh the joys of watching business do what it does best in today’s age: Change. Turns out that Netflix actually does give at least half a damn about it’s existing customers, and at least nixed the idea of spinning off the shiny plastic disc business that would’ve been Qwickster.

From Ars Technica:

The change seemed needlessly drastic and complicated for many users, forcing customers to be billed twice and to search for DVD and streaming content on separate websites. But now, Netflix customers will never have to hear the word Qwikster again.

For anyone who took a marketing or branding course in college, I think Qwickster will be a nice sidebar on the chapter that mentions the folly of New Coke. I admire Netflix’ gutsy move to try to shed & alter their core business, but obviously they were too severe in their actions. Internally, I’m sure there’s still a deep divide within Netflix between the DVD logistics folks & the streaming service folks, but for now NFLX customers can relax a little bit… and get back to venting frustrations over the price hike.

… and here’s the original post …¬†

I’m in the middle of reading Do More Faster – a book of short essays by the folks involved in the TechStars group – and I’m taking to heart lots of the worthwhile tidbits of startup advice. Especially on the verge of launching our new startup – Dashter – I want to make sure we’re building more than just a “startup” – we’re building a full-fledged scalable in-demand business. More on that later.

What caught my eye this week is Netflix, and how they’re acting so nimbly right now it’s like an awesome case study in watching a startup turn in to a big business only to remember it’s a startup again.

I just recently became a Netflix customer (streaming only) having come from Blockbuster’s DVD-by-mail program. But with the addition of a couple AppleTV’s in my house, streaming on-demand service was a no-brainer. So when I see an article like, “Who Stole Netflix’ Mojo?” on c|net (in addition to mountains of mainstream coverage from Yahoo! News to KNX1070 news radio mentions), my consumer-brain goes, “Oh no – did I buy a bad product?” Then my startup-brain fires back: “Go Netflix, Go! :)”

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