Netflix: a beautiful castle on quicksand

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

It seems almost everyone has had their say on Netflix and the stock swoon that followed company’s decision to separate its DVD and streaming operations. Peter Fenton, a well known venture capitalist who sits on the board of Twitter and is a general partner with Benchmark Capital shared his thoughts on Netflix, its recent troubles and lessons for others in a couple of tweets. They caught my eye and I thought I should share them with you.

Reed Hastings’s exceptional leadership, team, and execution created a sprawling, beautiful castle..on quicksand. Setting up a perfect short which underscores my belief that truly enduring consumer internet businesses dont buy the bulk of their users. [Fenton on Twitter]

In a blog post, Fenton’s colleague at Benchmark Capital, Bill Gurley wrote:

Netflix is an amazing company, and Reed Hastings is one of the best CEO’s Silicon Valley has ever seen. That said, at age fourteen, the digital world is forcing Netflix to execute a pivot. And the world they are entering is radically different from the world they are leaving. There is no longer a first-sale doctrine to keep things neat and tidy.

Benchmark has been an investor in online video companies such as Metacafe, Clicker (acquired by CBS Interactive) and Vudu (acquired by WalMart.)



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