That Will Never Work

The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea
Narrated by: Marc Randolph
Length: 11 hrs
Categories: Business, Career Skills
4.5 out of 5 stars (765 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Phil Knight's Shoe Dog comes the incredible untold story of how Netflix went from concept to company - all revealed by co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph. 

Once upon a time, brick-and-mortar video stores were king. Late fees were ubiquitous, video-streaming unheard of, and widespread DVD adoption seemed about as imminent as flying cars. Indeed, these were the widely accepted laws of the land in 1997, when Marc Randolph had an idea. It was a simple thought - leveraging the internet to rent movies - and was just one of many more and far worse proposals, like personalized baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning. 

But Hastings was intrigued, and the pair - with Hastings as the primary investor and Randolph as the CEO - founded a company. Now with over 150 million subscribers, Netflix's triumph feels inevitable, but the 21st century's most disruptive start up began with few believers and calamity at every turn. From having to pitch his own mother on being an early investor, to the motel conference room that served as a first office, to server crashes on launch day, to the now-infamous meeting when Netflix brass pitched Blockbuster to acquire them, Marc Randolph's transformational journey exemplifies how anyone with grit, gut instincts and determination can change the world-even with an idea that many think will never work. 

What emerges, however, isn't just the inside story of one of the world's most iconic companies. Full of counter-intuitive concepts and written in binge-worthy prose, it answers some of our most fundamental questions about taking that leap of faith in business or in life: How do you begin? How do you weather disappointment and failure? How do you deal with success? What even is success? 

From idea generation to team building to knowing when it's time to let go, That Will Never Work is not only the ultimate follow-your-dreams parable, but also one of the most dramatic and insightful entrepreneurial stories of our time.

©2019 Marc Randolph (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Marc wastes no time cutting through the noise and identifying the truth. Every moment I have spent with Marc, whether it was as he formulated and launched Netflix or since then, has been truly rewarding. Marc understands what is important whether it is your product, your marketing, or your business plan. A remarkable and one of a kind visionary." (Mitch Lowe, founder of RedBox and CEO of MoviePass)

"Netflix was built on the vision and creative DNA of one man - Marc Randolph. As the founding CEO, his leadership defined the culture of Netflix and laid the groundwork for successive, global revolutions in how we make and consume entertainment. His willingness to step aside so that his co-founder Reed Hastings could scale up the company stands as an example of humility and self-knowledge that is rare in the startup world." (Gina Keating, author of Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs

"An entertaining chronicle of creativity, luck, and unflagging perseverance." (Kirkus Reviews)

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    1 out of 5 stars

Cut off at the end of chapter 18

The team needs to review this recording. It cuts off chapter 18 in the middle of the vending machine story.

20 people found this helpful

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Great Story on the History of Netflix

Overall a good book. Wish they would have worked on their quality control on the audio. For example, in the middle of discussing the IPO the book jumped to the Epilogue and toward the end of the Epilogue it jumped to Acknowledgments. Very disappointing to invest that much time in the book and lose the ending. Don't buy this book until they acknowledge the problem and advise that they have corrected the problem.

12 people found this helpful

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GaryVee inspired reader

Great book. Very binge worthy. What happened to the audio at end of the chapter "Going public?" and "Epilogue"?
Still loved this book.

6 people found this helpful

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Netflix story stops in 2003

Great story of the founding. I was hoping for more details about Netflix the business, especially how it transitioned from DVDs to streaming. Unfortunately the story ends just as streaming starts becoming a topic.

3 people found this helpful

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one sided view

With a lot of Marc's ego as well. Facts are useful, not sure what is the learning

1 person found this helpful

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It was pretty good

Book is pretty good I thought it would be more detail and I wanted to hear more about figures & salary. But overall book is a good listen & entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

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An honest take on founding a company

Marc is clear from the beginning that his book isn't about the 'easy to communicate founding myth' that gets told about the great companies. His honest perspective on the ups and downs are fascinating from a company that has changed with the times. This book is a very interesting take on the whole picture that founders sometimes struggle with.

1 person found this helpful

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Truly binge worthy!

I absolutely loved this book. Really felt like I was along for the journey. A must read or listen to anyone in the start up phase or that has an idea.

1 person found this helpful

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Works for me!

The road to Netflix was a windy one and a great example of how great ideas are brought to life.

Awesome book. Some parts sound a bit disingenuous and people-pleasing but the story comes through. Thanks Marc!

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This book has healed my entrepreneur soul

Mark's honesty is a breath of fresh air in a bubble of books that erase most of the struggle that a new startup requires.
It has been lifechanging for me. Thanks!