Netflix: No More Late Fees

Jon Daly
English 3010
Dr. McDonald
17 February 2012
No More Late Fee’s
Our world today is filled with completely different individuals with a variety of skills sets. I believe some of the most interesting people in the world today are the ones who become entrepreneurs and completely change the world. Not only do they have an unbelievably creative brain, but the way they take risks to launch their ideas into reality is truly admirable. One man comes to mind when thinking about incredible inventions of the 21st century— Reed Hastings. For those not familiar with him, he is the founder of the phenomenally successful DVD-rental company, Netflix. How did Reed Hasting’s childhood and early life assist him in creating the “red envelope” idea, which always brings smiles to all subscribers’ faces?
Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. was born October 8, 1960, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was a lawyer who once served in the Nixon administration, serving as general counsel in the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He graduated from high school in 1978 from the Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After high school, he spent a year selling Rainbow vacuum cleaners door to door. Once he realized selling vacuums was not for him, Hastings decided to study mathematics at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and won its mathematics department's Smyth Prize in 1981 and Hammond Prize in 1983. Hastings stated, "I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school and went to Bowdoin College in Maine. I majored in math because I found the abstractions beautiful and engaging” (Brennan). From 1983 to 1986, Hastings taught mathematics as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland and even credits part of his entrepreneurial spirit to his time spent in the Peace Corps. He states that, “It was an extremely satisfying experience; once you have hitchhiked across Africa with ten bucks in your pocket, starting a business doesn't seem too intimidating”...