Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, Apologizes, and Creates a New Service

Here’s the letter that he sent me (via email) about the recent controversy over pricing:

“Dear Bill,

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the
services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

So here is what we are doing and why.

Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to ‘Qwikster‘. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name ‘Netflix‘ for streaming.

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the and websites will not be integrated.

There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the website is up and ready.

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

Respectfully yours,

-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix”

“The Red Hot CPU Edition” of Dr. Bill.TV Netcast #206

Dr. Bill Netcast – 206 – (09/18/11)

Infinite storage with Bitcasa,, developer preview of Windows 8, a new BSOD for Windows 8! GSotW: Shrew Soft VPN Client! Download Windows 8 Preview, Portal 1 is now free! Lot’s of crazy issues with a PC build! GoToAssist:

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

Bitcasa Infinite Storage Beta

Citrix GoToAssist Offer!

Shrew Soft VPN Client

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The Cake is a Lie… but Portal is now FREE!

And that is NO lie… at least until September 20th! So, hurry and download Portal, if you want the FREE!

Portal is free! Portal is free! (for PC and Mac)

“Well here’s some interesting timing. Just days after I finished playing Portal for the very first time (more on that in a bit), Steam is offering the game absolutely free.

Specifically, from now until September 20, you can download Portal (PC and Mac) absolutely free. Yesterday, it would have cost you $10.

In case you’re not familiar with it, Portal is regarded by many (myself included) to be one of the best games of all time. GameSpot awarded it a 9.0 and an Editors’ Choice. IGN called it ‘quirky, clever, polished, and presented with a spark of a subtly evil humor.'”

Geek Software of the Week: Shrew Soft VPN Client!

Shrew Soft VPNSo, maybe this is something that hasn’t irritated you, but it does me. When I need to download the FREE Cisco VPN Client, to get the latest version, I have to have a Cisco customer account to do so! Come on guys! It IS FREE! Well, I got so frustrated recently, I decided to do something that I normally do anyway. Find out if there is a FREE (truly free) alternative. And, guess what? There is!

Shrew Soft VPN Client

Windows Platforms
The Shrew Soft VPN Client for Windows is a free IPsec Remote Access VPN Client for Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 operating systems ( x86 and amd64 versions ). It was originally developed to provide secure communications between mobile Windows hosts and open source VPN gateways that utilize standards compliant software such as ipsec-tools, OpenSWAN, FreeSWAN, StrongSWAN, isakmpd. It now offers many of the advanced features only found in expensive commercial software solutions and provides compatibility for VPN appliances produced by vendors such as Cisco, Juniper, Checkpoint, Fortinet, Netgear, Linksys, Zywall and many others.

Linux and BSD Platforms
The Shrew Soft VPN Client for Unix is a free IPsec Client for FreeBSD, NetBSD and Linux based operating systems. This version is distributed under an OSI approved open source license and is hosted in a public subversion repository. It supports most of the features available in the Windows VPN Client version with the exception of those which are not cross platform compatible.”

If you ARE using Cisco VPN, and have a .pcf file from the site that you are trying to VPN into, you can simply import it into the Shrew Soft VPN Client! Awesome!

Imagine a Guide for All Your Favorite TV Shows…

fav.tvA place where you could get info on actors, scheduling, schedule changes, cancellations, new shows to see, all that stuff that true TV-a-holics might need… well, now there’s also has social networking interaction as well. Interesting, but not something I would personally use. Still, it is a neat idea! It is a startup that just got going this year. They currently have six employees… we’ll see if they “make it!”

Here’s what they say about themselves: “ is the product of nearly two years of work. What was once just a simple iPhone application, is now a ubiquitous platform spanning across the web, the desktop and various mobile platforms.”

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