Credit: @Wolf Heider-Sawall
In 1997 Boston-born entrepreneur Reed Hastings had a problem. He had misplaced the “Apollo 13” cassette he had rented from Blockbuster. It took him six weeks to find it and when he finally returned it he had to pay a $40 late fee. It was his fault and he dreaded telling his wife about it. That’s when the idea came to him. Instead of charging late fees why wasn’t there a rental service that offered a subscription fee that let you take out a many or as few videos as you wanted? Marc Randolph joined Reed Hastings in turning this idea into a reality. They founded Netflix which offered flat rate movie rental-by-mail to US customers by combining two emerging technologies: DVDs, which were much easier to send by mail than VHS-cassettes, and an online Web site to order them from. There was no paper catalog there were no brick and mortar stores.