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That Will Never Work

The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea
Written by: Marc Randolph
Narrated by: Marc Randolph
Length: 11 hrs
Categories: Business & Money, Careers
4.5 out of 5 stars (34 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

What the critics say

"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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Nobody Knows Anything

Wow! I had a hard time getting into the first part of the book, but about halfway through I just couldn’t stop. This book is inspiring, eye opening and just plain fun to read.

I could write down a lot of amazing quotes, but for me if there is only one to remember it is “Nobody knows anything”, any idea could be the good one, you have to trust yourself and be willing to fail. This book deserves to be read and read again, I starting noticing the value of it closer to the end when everything was coming together.

Make yourself a gift and buy this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Listen

For the entrepreneur looking for inspiration this is for you. I loved the entire story and was spoken in a very engaging way from the founder himself. I love Netflix even more after reading this.

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Five stars!

Well written, well narrated. I stayed interested from chapter A to Z. It is definitely one of the best business book i've ever "red". It is so well written that as i was listening, i felt i was actually living the dawn of Netflix. Bravo!

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Netflix is Awesome.

The author does a ton of ego stroking to the point that it's annoying but can you blame him? Netflix is a great revolutionary story. it has made our life more entertaining, easier and connected. The author is also related directly to the Barnays family & Freud. That's pretty fascinating in itself. Enjoy!

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Best audiobook I have bought in a year!

This book was really an eye-opener into how Netflix begin and became the dominant market leader in streaming and in DVD rentals. I highly suggest this audiobook if you are an entrepreneur and are looking for inspiration. Five stars!!!

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Amazing Story!! A must read!

Humble story of a brand which have revolutionized the entertainment industry forever! must read for aspiring entrepreneurs

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Interesting and easy going story

The book tells the "startup story" from a different, less business and more human angle.

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Wow!

Impressive all the way through. My attention was captured and baited on every new chapter.

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more technical issue than review

Chapters ending abruptly, including the final chapter. good book bad copy? The first couple times I thought it was my fault

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  • me!
  • 2019-09-25

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan Maxwell
  • 2019-10-27

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • J. H. Rios
  • 2019-09-30

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kacper Nowicki
  • 2019-11-14

one sided view

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nasar
  • 2019-10-26

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan Heacock
  • 2019-10-24

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon DeMott
  • 2019-10-23

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 2019-12-06

incredibly inspiring

A fantastic author-read book with inspirational insights for any person keen on building new things

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  • Tim
  • 2019-12-04

Red Envelopes

I've been a Netflix subscriber since June 2007.  My first rental was some B-rated title called Epic Movie.  My last DVD rental was in September 2011 and it was The Conspirator.  Ever since then, I kept my Netflix just for streaming. You know when you drive on any main street and there is a motel on the side of the road and on their marquee, they display something like Free HBO to entice new customers?  When you get into your room, you start asking yourself if you really want to spend the night there. Well, Netflix has become that motel that flashes random shows to get you interested in, but after a while, most of their shows are just yellow stains on walls and you have no other choice but to keep it in hopes to watch something worthwhile.  

Marc Randolph was one of the founders of Netflix and he wrote, "That Will Never Work" on the company.  This book was pretty interesting. The best part for me was learning how they develop the red envelopes and how they distributed to their subscribers.  It's worth a read if you are interested in a modern digital company.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-30

Phenomenal

It's hard to believe the author read this himself due to his phenomenal performance. His voice comes alive much like Scott Adams. If you love books in the start up genre you'll love this book. I've read a lot, and this is one of my favorites.