Gone are the days when the only way to watch a movie was by going to the nearest single screen theatre. Now, the affinity for digital entertainment is growing at a rapid pace. All of this was started by a US-based startup called Netflix.
"If Jesus were a stock, he'd be Netflix", say many of the company's investors. The company founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1997 started as a DVD rental service by mail. The idea behind the company was to come up with the "Amazon for DVDs". Within a year, the company changed to a subscription-based model which changed the way so many industries work. In a decade's time, they shifted from renting DVDs to an online video streaming service changing their business plan entirely.
Netflix is a great example of how a company changed their primary product multiple times and grew exponentially due to that. Nobody gave the company a chance to compete with the biggest production houses and now, the company has 130 million users (double of the number of users in 2014) that watch Netflix for 2 hours every day on an average. One-fifth of the world's total download bandwidth is consumed by Netflix users. Keep in mind that China does not even allow Netflix to operate. The stock of the company is nearly twice of what it was at the start of the year.
This teaches us to not be afraid to change. Always look for an idea or strategy which will shape the future. The ability to change and keep ahead of the curve is what separates the legends from the ordinary. And for the other media firms, they must make use of the internet platform to expand their online audience by lowering prices and offering more content.
"Content is the king." The Netflix original content that they came up with has changed the game in terms of revenue. From 'Narcos' to 'Sacred Games', Netflix has wisely invested in original and country-specific content. All of this started with the 100 million USD investment to get 'House of Cards'. Everything there on is history. Netflix will spend around 13 billion USD this year only on content which happens to be more than any other Hollywood production house. As a result of the country-specific content, Netflix has more users outside the USA and is increasing user penetration in different countries rapidly.
The takeaway from this part is that originality is the key. Doing something new is what sets you apart. Something original will always have higher rewards than something that is old and copied. Being creative with the ideas and style of work is the most important aspect of the success of an entrepreneur.