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Five Lessons From the Netflix Startup Story

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Old 04-22-2006, 01:03 AM
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Everyone knows the company Netflix. I found this great article on how they got started.

When we began building Netflix in 1997, most people thought we were nuts. DVD players had just started selling in the US in March, and by October we started executing our billion-dollar business plan with only $2 million in seed funding. Even with the dot-com era in full bloom, the idea of renting movies via mail struck most as somewhat ludicrous. Despite the odds and the obstacles, we persevered to create Netflix, which has revolutionized the movie rental industry.

Looking back on Netflix's startup story, five customer-focused lessons stand out as critical in creating this innovative Internet business.

There is a lot more to it so check out the article in the link above but here is a summation.

1. Don't let the naysayers get you down
How often do we suggest an idea only to be shot down? It seems to happen all the time.
2. Build operations for a 'wow' customer experience
3. Develop three-step solutions
The most successful products take tedious and difficult chores and make them easy—so easy that consumers can solve their problems in three steps or less.
4. Copy the best
Don't re-invent the wheel. Learn from others.
5. Focus on rabid early adopters
When Netflix first got started they expected no more than 10 or so "friends and family" orders per day. Unexpectedly, 500 orders arrived the first day!
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