Finance

346: Why Ideas Don’t Count According To Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph

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Marc Randolph – co-founder of Netflix


It’s every entrepreneur’s dream: create a product that is so disruptive to an industry, that it forces a shift in how we do business. Be so good, that they can’t ignore you, and they have to completely reimagine the way they do things in order to compete with you.

That’s what Netflix did.

In this interview, Foundr’s Nathan Chan sits down to speak with none other than Netflix co-founder, author, podcast host, and investor-extraordinaire, Marc Randolph.

Randolph has been an entrepreneur for over 40 years before the word “entrepreneur” was even a thing. With an insight into the business game like no other, Randolph knows the importance of action and acceleration colliding with ideas.

Listen in as Randolph reveals his journey, from failed business ideas and last-minute pivots, to being laughed at during a $50m pitch with Blockbuster. Find out why he believes that the most important step in having an idea is to start.


Key Takeaways

  • Randolph’s discusses the evolution of entrepreneurship from a personal compulsion to a recognized career
  • Randolph’s first job working as chief of staff, and how shadowing the CEO allowed him to experience all aspects of a large-scale company
  • How Randolph found his love for direct marketing business, and how that led to the original concept for Netflix
  • Working as head of marketing for Pure Atria, and how Randolph first considered “mailing movie rentals”
  • The birth of Netflix, and the missing piece of the puzzle
  • The 6-month journey of creating an ecommerce website in the 90s
  • When Netflix was almost sold to Amazon
  • The failed $50m pitch to Blockbuster, and what happened after Randolph was laughed out of the building
  • The subscriber model, and why it’s expensive to acquire customers
  • Why Randolph says you need to collide ideas with action, and then accelerate
  • The essential qualities Randolph looks for exclusively in a founder
  • Why he believes you can start a business anywhere, but you need to be in a growth environment
  • The number one method Randolph uses to identify great business ideas
  • The inspiration behind Randolph’s book, “That Will Never Work”, and how he hopes to help budding entrepreneurs do their best

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