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Of Netflix, Hastings and Hasty Decisions

Ever tried taking away a toy from your 5 year old? Surprising that Reed Hastings and the board of Netflix missed out on that little perceivable outcome to their decision when they started charging their DVD service customers a separate fee for Streaming; increasing the price for those loyal customers, who were subscribed to both services. 1 million subscribers unsubscribed in anger, most loyal customers turned ferocious, stock plunged.
Clearly, this strategy has royally boomeranged on Hastings, who true to his last name, hastily made a few amends. ( They backfired too!)

I mean, lets look at the mail that he wrote. " I'm sorry I messed up". I completely expected him to own up his miscalculation and say, hey you know what - here we go, everything rolled back. We want YOU- our loyal customers back! " Instead came the highly hasty, ridiculous, God- knows- what- these- guys- are smoking announcement of the birth of Quikster. I thought that was his new rabbit till he pulled it out of his hat!!!. QUIKSTER!! Hastings has either lost touch with reality or his team has completely decided they want to run the company down! It is perhaps one of the most ridiculous business decisions that I have seen been taken in my lifetime. Why could they not have taken some more time to think a bit more out of the box. A little more thought. I mean, it doesn't take a genius to realize that the company bases its net worth on its subscriber base. And hell, the subscriber base is furious!
If I were in Hastings shoes( not that I want to be, especially when it comes with that thought process he has demonstrated); I would make the services cost my subscribers less. Infact, I would even go lower for the more loyal customers based on their transactions. I would then add new services ( like games, which he has made FREE!!) for an incremental cost; create more services like movie shows for families, friends across locations streamed onto their screens with an online social environment for them to discuss and critique them. I would bring more new releases into this environment, creating a new ( alternative) distribution platform for new movies to be screened at a premier fee.
There is so much innovation that can be done on the platform that Netflix already has; why would they kill their own subscriber base by these petty tactics? Beats me!!

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