Netflix, 2007 — The Jump to Streaming

Scientist Stan Lanning

CTO/Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt with the working prototype.

Has it been so many years? I increasingly meet people who didn’t know about (or remember) the Netflix red envelope and the delivery of DVDs, so they might not appreciate the struggle to move from DVDs to streaming. So these are images during the "Blockbuster years" and of the genesis of streaming at Netflix. Looking back now I realize what an unusual moment that was, one that I was privileged to experience. I was an employee, but I frequently kept my camera out, and everyone sorta knew this was what I did. In the years from 2005 to 2008, doubling from 4 to 8 million DVD subscribers, the already fast growing company was about to hit an inflection point—how would it leap from DVD rentals and delivery into streaming?

CEO Reed Hastings (framed by Bob Henderson, former Postmaster General of the US and Netflix exec

These images are from a single executive gathering in January 2007, where the Netflix box was completed and internally debuted, and instantly killed—spun back into Roku; while Netflix put its software inside every TV-connected device being created at the time, and continued to work on content. I've added a couple images from later that year, at a similar gathering. In hindsight, these quarterly gatherings were historic. It was an awesome time to be at the company. 

 

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The Netflix Box, later released as the first Roku box.

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Content Officer Ted Sarandos flanked by Talent Officer Patty McCord (co-creator of the "Netflix Deck") and Content Director Erin Ruane.

 CMO Leslie Kilgore, creator of the famous red envelope and brand (chatting with Patty McCord) and flanked by content VP Cindy Holland (left) and Tawni Cranz (right). [Sept. 2007]

CMO Leslie Kilgore, creator of the famous red envelope and brand (chatting with Patty McCord) and flanked by content VP Cindy Holland (left) and Tawni Cranz (right). [Sept. 2007]

 Sarandos with Content VPs Robert Kyncl and Erin Ruane. [Sept 2007]

Sarandos with Content VPs Robert Kyncl and Erin Ruane. [Sept 2007]

 

All images in this post copyright © 2007 by M.H. Rubin, All rights reserved. www.byrubin.com