Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Honesty Is the Best Business Plan

You can’t discuss the overwhelming success of Netflix without giving due credit to its CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings. Hastings’ visionary direction for Netflix and, coincidently, television has undoubtedly shaped an entire culture, and he isn’t planning on letting up anytime soon.

NetflixBut what really sets Reed Hasting apart from other CEOs isn’t his influence over an industry movement, but his genuine servant attitude in the delivering of content to consumers. These visions and concepts of the company’s future have been clear since the beginning when he decidedly dubbed it the name Netflix (rather than something obvious like Mailflix or Postflix). Hastings and his company have always had their sights set towards the possibilities of the future and online distribution, so it only makes sense to see how personal he takes the issue of persevering on the Internet.

Today most rival streaming services are busy developing and perfecting their own personal streaming infrastructures. However, Hastings is helping further the development of not only Netflix (both home and abroad) but the entire infrastructure of the Internet in general, constantly voicing his opinions in redefining the relationships between businesses and ISPS with their consumers.

Reed HastingsWith great power comes great responsibility, and Hastings has far from taken his influential position for granted. He has been know notoriously for speaking out against the powerful grasp of ISPs saying, “Comcast would love to be the post office and be a national monopoly collecting on everything, but that’s not the way the Internet works”.

Hastings understands the infrastructure of the Internet and is a strong supporter of a neutral Internet with free interconnectivity. While we wait to see what the recently passed Net Neutrality rules have in store for the Internet, Hastings remains cautious and realizes it is a mere stepping stone to achieving a true free and open Internet.

In addition to his business savvy, Hastings has brought to the company (and to the entire Internet) a sense of honesty and well-being to consumers. As a powerful CEO, we’ve seen Hasting is quick to adapt to a changing market, to experiment and take risks. Even more importantly, he has proven again and again to be just as quick at admitting fault when those innovations fail.

Most recently, He has been one of the most prominent voices speaking out against Comcast’s potential 45 million dollar acquisition of Time Warner Cable (currently awaiting FCC approval to move forward). Hasting argues that the current system is already backward enough saying if “1/3 of the Internet use is customers using Netflix member, we (Netflix) should get 1/3 of Comcast’s revenue. If they (Comcast) want to give us (Netflix) 1/3 of the revenue, we’ll give them (Comcast) 1/3 of the cost… Do you really want 50 percent of the Internet controlled by one company?”

These values of honesty and transparency, which Hastings has passed on to his company, have been a huge contributing factor to Netflix’s propulsion as the industry leader in subscription based video on demand (SVOD).

Whether it be admitting to the press that he loves HBO (he’s openly stated multiple times that Veep is his favorite shows) or speaking well of the very conglomerates Netflix is lobbying against (referring to Comcast’s Brian L. Roberts as a “great guy”), the sense of humanity and truthfulness Hastings brings to Netflix, and the entire industry, is a breath of fresh air during this time of online uncertainty.

Netflix’s unwavering flexibility to change with the times coupled by Hastings’s undivided willingness to provide media consumers with the best viewing experience (as well as the best Internet experience) will undoubtedly help set Netflix apart from the competition of emerging SVOD.

– Aaron Sprengeler

3 thoughts on “Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Honesty Is the Best Business Plan

  1. Hastings is one of the few CEOs in the technology industry that, when he shows shades of the best movers-and-shakers such as Jobs, Lassiter, and Berners-Lee, he proves he is in the highest of tiers of industry leaders. One thing these men all have in common is their monastic obsession with innovation well before its time, and an uncanny ability to change with the times when it’s needed.
    I agree with Netflix staying at the top for the indefinite future. I have always been under the impression that Netflix’s ease of use coupled with affordability for streaming will keep it at the top. Until a competitor can do things Netflix cannot, all while staying within a competitive price range and stepping it up in the library department, they will remain on top of the instant streaming mountain.

  2. I’ve had Netflix since 2012 and have loved the changes they have made to the streaming service. Especially with the original content that is being created by Netflix. What Reed Hastings is doing for Netflix to adapt with the times is impressive. Compared with other streaming services, I would choose Netflix any day.

  3. I think that Netflix would be nowhere near where they are now without Hastings. His honesty creates a good reputation for the company and I think that people notice this. This is a value that is often compromised by competition and a drive for revenues. His honesty is tool that will help gather supporters in the fight against ISPs.

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