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Inside The Birth of Netflix: Marc Randolph ’80 Tells The Story


Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph ’80, who spent a day on campus last fall sharing entrepreneurial expertise with Hamilton students, just published a book about the company that would go on to change the way America consumes entertainment.

That Will Never Work, The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea, published by Little, Brown and Co., was released today. We asked Randolph to share three points that he hopes Hamilton students and other potential young entrepreneurs will take away from the book. Here’s what he said:

  1. Relax: You don’t need to have it all figured out now.  I was a geology major and then had a series of seemingly nonconnected jobs, but they all prepared me in different ways to be in the right place at the right time.
  2. Think less, do more. If you have an idea (and the idea doesn’t have to be a business idea), the most important thing to do is start. I give many examples in the book of how we took simple concepts and tested them quickly, easily, and cheaply so that we quickly found out if our ideas were good ones or bad ones.
  3. Related story

    Marc Randolph ’80 is one of many alumni who've used College Hill as a launching pad, and who are championing new ideas, challenging old conventions, pushing boundaries, and, in doing so, advancing their professions.

    Read "the serial ENTREPRENEUR"
    Have confidence in yourself. When I told people the idea that became Netflix, almost everyone (including my wife) told me it would never work. I know everyone has that experience, and the ironic thing is that most of the time they are going to be right. But not always. It requires persistence and flexibility, but ultimately it’s like a crossword puzzle. There IS a solution, but you may not see it right away. Sometimes you have to put the puzzle down for a minute, or an hour, or a few months. But eventually you’ll see the answer — and everyone will wonder why they didn’t think of it!
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