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Reed Hastings Quotes

Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr

Reed Hastings quotes: Netflix CEO gives us some interesting advice about entrepreneurship, employees, scaling, and more.

“Be big, fast, and flexible.”

“When you grow up, as I have, in the shadow of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others… success is defined as the total global transformation of a market.  To achieve that, you need low prices and an attractive offering.  It’s about trying to make a positive impact on a big scale.”

“Be brutally honest about the short-term and optimistic and confident about the long-term.”

“Great leaders, like Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos, also focused on the long-term.”

“I learned the value of focus.  I learned it is better to do one product well than two products in a mediocre way.”

“Taking smart risks can be very gratifying.”

“Guessing right is a skill developed over time.  Not all smart risks work out, but many of them do.”

“Most entrepreneurial ideas will sound crazy, stupid, and uneconomic – and then they’ll turn out to be right.”

“But as an entrepreneur you have to feel like you can jump out of an airplane because you’re confident that you’ll catch a bird flying by.  It’s an act of stupidity, and most entrepreneurs go splat because the bird doesn’t come by, but a few times it does.”

“With failures, you learn one of 99 things to avoid.  So they are not that useful.  I think it is more useful to learn from others’ failures.”

“Occasionally great wealth is created in a short amount of time, but it’s through a lot of luck in those situations.  You just have to think of building an organization as a lot of work.  It may or may not turn into great wealth.”

“Plan for what you want the company to become, not what it may be limited to on day one.”

“Don’t let yourself get commoditized.  Build slowly.”

“I didn’t always give myself permission to think about life beyond the immediate task.  We don’t want our leader to be gross.”

“I take pride in making as few decisions as possible.  When you get to real scale, most of my job is just vision.”

“Always come back to the basics.”

“Telling the truth builds – and helps regain – goodwill.”

“Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly.”

“Let go to grow.”

“At Netflix, we think you have to build a sense of responsibility where people care about the enterprise.  Hard work, like long hours at the office, doesn’t matter as much to us.  We care about great work.”

“Responsible people thrive on freedom and are worthy of freedom.  They are self-motivating, pick up the trash lying on the floor, and behave like an owner.  Our model is to increase employee freedom as we grow… rather than limit it.”

“Truly brilliant marketing happens when you take something most people think of as a weakness and reposition it so people think of it as a strength.”

“The best managers figure out how to get great outcomes by setting the appropriate context, rather than by trying to control their people.”

“Do not tolerate brilliant jerks.  The cost to teamwork is too high.”

“We develop people by giving them the opportunity to develop themselves, by surrounding them with big challenges to work on.  Mediocre colleagues or unchallenging work is what kills progress of a person’s skills.”

“We’re like the anti-Apple.  They compartmentalize, we do the opposite.  Everyone gets all the information.  I find out about big decisions made all the time that I had nothing to do with.”

“We want people to speak the truth, and we say, ‘To disagree silently is disloyal.’  It’s not okay to let a decision go through without saying your piece.  We’re very focused on trying to get to good decisions with a good debate.”

“Don’t be afraid to change the model.”

“Interactivity and a better experience aren’t always the same thing.”

“Don’t get distracted by the shiny object and if a crisis comes, execute on the fundamentals.”

“On the internet you get continuous innovation, so every year the streams are a little better.”

“When there’s an ache, you want to be like aspirin, not vitamins.  Aspirin solves a very particular problem someone has, whereas vitamins are a general ‘nice to have’ market.”

“Stone Age.  Bronze Age.  Iron Age.  We define entire epics of humanity by the technology they use.”

“In fact, technology has been the story of human progress from as long back as we know.  In 100 years people will look back on now and say, ‘That was the Internet Age.’  And computers will be seen as a mere ingredient to the Internet Age.”

“School districts in the U.S. don’t adopt technology very quickly.”

“What’s got me excited about the education space is the growth of the internet over the next 10, 20, 30 years.”

“If the Starbucks secret is a smile when you get your latte… ours is that the website adapts to the individual’s taste.”

“When I see the internet, it’s about being able to share more content around the world.”

“Our brand at Netflix is really focused on movies and TV shows.”

“I got the idea for Netflix after my company was acquired.  I had a big late fee for Apollo 13.  It was six weeks late and I owed the video store $40.  I had misplaced the cassette.  It was all my fault.”

“I founded Netflix.  I’ve built it steadily over 12 years now, first with DVD becoming profitable in 2002, a head-to-head ferocious battle with Blockbuster, and evolving the company toward streaming.”

“Well, we’re about 24 million subscribers today, and that’s up from about 15 million a year ago, so it’s a very high rate of growth, and that’s what’s exciting about the business – more and more people are getting smart TVs, they’re watching Netflix on their iPads.”

“The Netflix brand for TV shows is really all about binge-viewing.  The ability to get hooked and watch episode after episode.”

“In the long-term, you have to believe that movies and TV shows will be like the opera and the novel – pretty ‘nichey’ businesses.”

“It’s not Netflix that’s making the changes.  It’s the internet.  We’re figuring out every year how to use the internet to make a great consumer experience.  Every year is an experiment.”

“We’d like to be as popular in the world as in the U.S., to be in one-third of households seven years from now.”

“Fiber optic is becoming like electricity.  If you look at how electricity spread around the globe 100 years ago, that’s what’s happening now.”

“Sometimes employees at Netflix think, ‘Oh my God, we’re competing with FX, HBO, or Amazon.’  But think about if you didn’t watch Netflix last night.  What did you do?  There’s such a broad range of things that you did to relax and unwind, hang out and connect – and we compete with all of that.”

“You get a show or a movie you’re really dying to watch, and you end up staying up late at night, so we actually compete with sleep.  And we’re winning!”

“We’re not big on rules.  Watch a ton, enjoy it.”

“I’m on the Facebook board now.  Little did they know that I thought Facebook was really stupid when I first heard about it back in 2005.”

“In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success.”

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life.  Be happy now.  Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.  Think how really precious the time you have to spend is, whether it’s at work or with your family.  Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

“I’ve worked very hard, but my life’s always been fun.”

“Take care of yourself.”

Want more quotes like these?  Then go learn from the head honcho of Alibaba.

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