Marc Randolph cofounder of Netflix

Who among us doesn’t binge watch on Netflix? It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when binge watching, or choosing to watch practically any movie at all, wasn’t possible. Some of us do remember those days…before 1997 when the Netflix website went live. It’s fair to say that the birth of Netflix completely disrupted home entertainment – period.

The Story of the birth of Netflix

Now we are all privy to the inside scoop of how Netflix (a great disruptor) came to life. And through that story, what it takes to launch, and continue to grow, a great media company in a time of technological transition. That story is told in That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph, the Co-Founder and first CEO of Netflix. That Will Never Work is a thoroughly edu-taining and worthwhile read for those of us who are curious about the intersection of adventurous commerce and creativity. His words help us to see and know how smart, creative people can also maintain their humanity while building something great.

Book Cover That Will Never Work about the birth of Netflix

Marc Randolph, growing up in the bucolic New York City suburb of Chappaqua (where both myself and Doug Corbett, the publisher of LA Yoga, grew up), was an outdoorsy kind of guy. His passion for the outdoors grew to the point where he led groups of adults on strenuous outdoor expeditions. I knew Marc, a gangly, friendly guy with a mouth full of metal braces, in high school. No one would have predicted he’d become that guy – the one who changed how we watch what we watch. But he did; through the process of sifting through idea after idea – many that never would work – until he and a smart team did what it took to make it work.

Marc Randolph

Life Balance Can Work

Marc learned how to pay attention to the essentials during those outdoor experiences. He learned what it takes to survive in the wilderness and help others do it too. In these pages, Marc recounts how those early lessons helped him know how to lead through the wilds of a game-changing start-up. In a thoroughly conversational tone, Marc mixes useful specifics about start-up culture and nuances with personal anecdotes about family and work life that illustrates how life/balance really can work.

This is a fun, inspiring, and informative read that is filled with a down-to-earth perspective on the work that goes into creating something truly impactful, recognizing how luck and timing intersect to make something work, providing specifics of our internet history and the birth of Netflix to give context.