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If you’re old enough to remember the days when you’d go to Blockbuster to find a new movie or watch an old favorite for the hundredth time, you might have thought, “Those were the good old days.” In fact, they were, but things changed drastically when Netflix hit the scene.
On August 29, 1997, Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph launched Netflix as an online DVD rental service, but it has now become the largest online streaming platform in the world.
What can we learn from Netflix founder Mark Randolph? Thanks to the smart business decisions of Randolph and his co-founder, Netflix is now worth billions of dollars. So let’s explore Randolph and the top 10 business lessons we can learn from his journey to success.
1. Stay ahead of new competitors
While Netflix was the first of its kind, competitors have flooded the market over the years. Amazon, Disney, TV networks, and many other companies offer successful streaming networks. Additionally, Netflix’s business model continues to evolve over time. It started as a DVD rental company, then offered subscription services to viewers, and in 2007 changed its name to an online streaming service.
Related: The Crazy Numbers Behind Netflix’s 20 Years Of Success
2. Set trends
Trends change all the time and to stay relevant, businesses need to keep up. Randolph and Netflix pioneered the concept of “binge television”, so their audiences didn’t have to wait each week to watch their favorite show.
3. Become a disrupter
You have to become a disruptor and make the competition uncomfortable if you want to be successful. For example, Randolph knew they could disrupt Blockbuster’s business if they got rid of videos and went straight to DVD rentals.
“But the main reason we were confident about our future is that we planned to disrupt their business by doing something they couldn’t do, or at least wouldn’t be willing to do.”
Related: Netflix Co-Founder: Here’s How to Become a Disruptor
4. Take advantage of opportunities
Randolph saw an opportunity to expand his business not only by providing subscription streaming services, but also by offering in-house production exclusivity. As a result, the company has created successful programs such as Orange is the new black , The Umbrella Academy and You which can only be found on Netflix.
5. Consumer experience
The streaming portal has been designed to personalize the user experience. It tracks consumer behavior, recommends movies and shows based on their browsing and viewing history, and records user progress to improve their experience the next time they use the platform.
Randolph and Hastings offered consumers a fixed monthly fee for unlimited DVD viewing to further compete with Blockbuster. Its position on the flat-rate model has remained the same since its introduction in 1997, except that it is now a subscription-based service. Although prices have increased over the years, consumers are still aware and attached to Netflix’s quality shows and binge-watching opportunities.
Another incredible way Randolph and his team took Netflix to new heights was by going global. They didn’t just offer Netflix to the global market. Instead, they researched each country’s regulations, technical requirements, politics, culture and consumer preferences to ensure a successful launch. As a result, Netflix is now playable in 190 countries around the world.
Related: 3 Tricks The Netflix Co-Founder Uses To Make Tough Decisions Easier
8. Data Driven Platform
In 2013, Netflix released its first critically acclaimed original show, Card castle . But why did you choose this program to spend millions to create it? Netflix already knew what the consumer wanted thanks to the data collected from the market. Initially, it used a simple scoring system followed by a study of consumer preferences to make sure they got it right.
9. Time change
Randolph and Hastings saw a huge opportunity in the growing popularity of smart TVs, so they integrated with LCD TVs to expand the platform’s accessibility to the public. As a result, families in the United States have relied on Netflix as their primary source of television entertainment. Netflix has been able to time its streaming site for the current economic climate. When it moved to streaming in 2007 and 2008, the country was in a recession and Netflix was providing affordable home entertainment.
10. Always be evolving
Netflix started in a market that didn’t even know it needed a change. Randolph and Hastings developed Netflix to make DVD rentals convenient for consumers at no additional cost. Consumers didn’t have to go to video rental stores, home entertainment was simplified, and they were a complete game-changer. Netflix has continually adjusted its business model to stay ahead and set trends.
Related: How Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph’s Success Happened