Blockbuster and Chill?

Blockbuster Video

Fellow 10X’er…

When you want to do movie night at home, life is easy.  You fire up Netflix and spend an hour fighting about what to watch.

Here’s how movie night worked back in the day…

You’d pile the kids in the car and head to your nearest Blockbuster store.  

Back then, Blockbusters were everywhere… kind of like Starbucks today.

As you’d stroll through the front doors… 

First you’d go pay your late fee on the last movie you rented.  The late fee always seemed to be more than you could have bought the movie for in the first place.

Then you’d grab a bag of free hot popcorn.  You’d browse the movies on the shelves…  But since these were DVDs, there were only so many of each.  And unless you got there early, there wasn’t much. The best ones were already taken.

So, you’d grab Die Hard for the 4th time.  And you’d stand in line for 20 minutes to pay – eating your second bag of popcorn.

It was actually pretty fun.  It made a home movie night a real event.  But it was also a colossal time suck.

Then, as you know, Netflix killed Blockbuster.  


There’s a Side to the Netflix/Blockbuster Story You Didn’t Know


(Lesson #3 – don’t put profit over people)


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In the beginning, Netflix was a mail-order service.  You’d order up to 5 DVDs and Netflix would mail them out to you.  

You could keep them as long as you wanted… but you didn’t get any more until you mailed the first ones back.

The mail thing was a pain.  But at least you didn’t have to stand in store lineups… you could place your order online… and no late fees.

Anyway, the owner of Netflix was a guy named Reed Hastings.

At the time, Netflix was tiny compared to the Blockbuster.  But Hastings saw a way Netflix and Blockbuster could work together.

So, he scheduled an in-person meeting with Blockbuster’s CEO.  

It took months to get on the guy’s schedule.

And when the day finally came, Hastings wanted to look like a baller.  So, he spent his last dough on renting a private jet to fly to the meeting.

(My private jet has my name on it, so you know it ain’t no rental…)

Anyway, it was like David going to meet Goliath.

So, Hastings gets to the meeting… and the Blockbuster CEO makes him wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.

Finally, he brings Hastings into his office… peers down at him from behind his massive desk… and asks him what he wants.

Hastings breathes deep, and makes his pitch.  He offers to sell Netflix to Blockbuster for $50 million – and to stay on and help the company grow.

Well, the Blockbuster CEO laughs in Hastings’ face.  He practically throws Hastings out of his office.

Hastings was pissed.  And as he dragged his sorry butt back to his rented jet… he was determined he’d make that Blockbuster CEO pay.

You know how this story ends…

By the end of 2010, Netflix was worth nearly $10 billion.  Meanwhile, Blockbuster went bust.

At its height, Netflix was worth more than $300 billion.  

Now, there’s only one Blockbuster left…

(This is the last Blockbuster store – in Oregon).

There So Many Business and Life Lessons Here

Here’s a few…

• Never give up.

• Let rejection fuel you.

• Stay humble.

• Know that if you’re unsuccessful now, that can change.  And if you are successful now, that can change too.

10X, every day.

– Grant