A Year After Qwikster

Me, a year ago today:

In an honest and transparent message to customers today, CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings expressed regret over his handling of the company’s recent restructuring and announced that the disc-by-mail service will soon be spun off into a separate product known as Qwikster. Netflix proper will be a streaming only company.


What a year it has been for Netflix. All the chatter nowadays revolves around the company’s original programming and their exhumation of Arrested Development. We all seem to forget that they were in a tailspin only twelve months ago after a series of poor decisions.

In the end, common sense won over. The company never got Qwikster off the ground,1 they implemented the price hike as they always said they would and Hastings remains at the company’s helm relatively unscathed. His colleagues, however, were picked off one by one.

Consumers have a short memory. Netflix’s streaming service is far more compelling than what the competition has to offer, and their disc-by-mail service is still a cash-cow. There is a lesson here somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out. Hastings’s self-described “arrogance” gutted his company’s board, initiated the exodus of nearly a million customers and tarnished one of the best names in customer service. And then, piece by piece he put the company back on track.

So, go with your gut? Break some eggs to make an omelet? Be Reed Hastings?

  1. Neither did the promised games-by-mail service that was to be the silver-lining of Qwikster’s numerous inconveniences. ↩︎