first exposed its intriguing blueprint to the Hollywood studios some years ago, techno-nerds predicted the majors would likely embrace its bold ideas. They were wrong. Hollywood displayed the same chill toward Netflix as it had toward HBO
years earlier. Warner Bros
declined to invest, for example, but offered to agree to revenue sharing provided it was issued stock warrants for Netflix common stock. Even Amazon
, itself a relative newcomer at the time, secretly offered $15 million for a controlling stake, but Netflix would have to play second fiddle to the books and music it was then pushing.
Netflix’s birth pains and its secret Amazon negotiations were revisited this week in a new book by its co-founder Marc Randolph, who, with his principal stockholder Reed Hastings
, felt Hollywood really didn’t “get” their message. The book was thus titled That Will Never Work.
(Full disclosure: I didn’t “get” it either,