Wanna know how to make a third of your market cap disappear? Follow up an egregious price increase by splitting a beloved, integrated service into two lesser, incomplete, separate services. Then give one of those businesses an almost impossible to spell name and lose a few million subscribers.
That’s exactly how Netflix spent their summer vacation. Game over, goodnight Netflix, it was a fun ride, see you at the fire sale, right? Not so fast. Netflix has built its industry-leading shipping and streaming operations around constantly observing, measuring and responding to information about the quality of its service. In this instance, strategy was just another service, and in an act as surprising and laudable as the company-splitting strategy was baffling, CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings this morning announced that Netflix was abandoning the decision, and that Netflix would proceed business-as-usual as a single service. Wow. Solid. Throw in some nice content-acquisition agreements, and all of a sudden Netflix is the belle of the ball again. Awesome win for responsive management, and an awesome win for consumers who love video.
The real loser in all of this? @Qwikster, the kid whose Twitter handle Netflix would surely have been forced to spend seven figures to acquire if they had followed through with the rebrand. Ouch. So close.