Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011

Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings was a Marine and a Peace Corps worker before he became an entrepreneur. As he says, "Once you have hitchhiked across Africa with 10 bucks in your pocket, starting a business doesn't seem too intimidating."

And what a business he started. Reed, 50, had the idea for Netflix after misplacing a videocassette and racking up a big late fee. He was on his way to work out when he realized the gym had a much better business model than his video-rental store: pay $30 to $40 a month and exercise as little or as much as you want.

Netflix first revolutionized entertainment distribution using one of the oldest methods of delivery, the U.S. mail. Now it distributes everywhere — TV, computer, iPad or game console.

Reed's innovation has changed how the entertainment business reaches its audience and how that audience is able to access content. I am thrilled to be part of this game-changing pioneer's next move: the first original series for Netflix, House of Cards, to be directed by David Fincher.

Blockbuster was sold at auction in April. Meanwhile, Reed has figured out that giving consumers what they want and how they want it — or even better, how they never even knew they could have it — is the business model of the future.

Spacey is a two-time Academy Award–winning actor