Learn Leadership Style with this Reed Hastings Life Story

Reed Hastings is the cofounder & CEO of Netflix & holds a net worth of $5 Billion. Before starting his video streaming app, he worked as a Maths teacher.

By Aashi Jain May 29 2021 12:43PM 622 Read
Netflix Cofounder Reed Hastings Story: Ordinary Teacher’s Journey

Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr., who is also known as Reed Hastings, is the person who gave us the reason for “Netflix and Chill”. He is an American entrepreneur and the Co-founder, Chairman, and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Netflix. He has served on the California State Board of Education and is a proponent of education reform through charter schools. From June 2011 until May 2019, Hastings served as a director of Facebook, and as of September 2016, he was believed to hold over $10 million in Facebook stock. From 2007 through 2012, Reed served on the Microsoft board of directors.

Reed Hastings: Childhood

Reed was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Wilmot Reed Hastings, his father, who was an attorney for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in the Nixon administration. Joan Amory Loomis, his mother, was a Boston debutante from a Social Register family repulsed by the world of high society and taught her children to disdain it. Reed’s maternal great grandfather, Alfred Lee Loomis, was a famous American attorney who created the Aberdeen Chronograph.

Reed Hastings: Education

Hastings attended the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Buckingham Browne & Nichols School. Before attending college, Hastings took a gap year and used to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Bowdoin College and found his subject beautiful and intriguing. Later, while still in school, he joined the Marine Corps and petitioned to join the Peace Corps instead of the Marine Corps. Hastings graduated with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University after returning from the Peace Corps in 1988.

  • Occupation: Business Man
  • Date of Birth: October 8, 1960
  • Age: 60
  • Home Town: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Spouse: Patricia Ann Quillin
  • Children: 2
  • Country: United States
  • Nationality: American

Reed Hastings: Personal Life

Hastings and his wife, Patricia Ann Quillin, and their two children, currently reside in Santa Cruz, California. Hastings takes six weeks of vacation every year as part of his approach. When he’s off hiking on a mountain or reading anything related to work, he says it provides him time to think and get perspective on what’s going on in his life.

Hastings admitted that he did not have any other hobbies other than vacationing, such as fishing or sailing. Hastings, on the other hand, is an animal enthusiast who keeps four rescued dogs, four Nigerian dwarf goats, and ten chickens at his home.

Reed Hastings: Career before Netflix

  • Mathematics Teacher From 1983 to 1985, Reed taught math in a high school in rural northwest Swaziland, Africa, with roughly 800 students.
  • First Job Reed’s first employment was at Adaptive Technology, where he developed a software debugging tool. Hastings met Audrey Maclean, the CEO of Adaptive Technology, while still working there in 1990. He subsequently admitted to CNN that he learned a lot from her. She taught him the importance of focus the most.
  • Pure Software Hastings left Adaptive Technology in 1991 to start his firm, Pure Software, which created software troubleshooting solutions. Hastings wanted to step down as CEO due to the company’s shaky development, but the board of directors refused. Morgan Stanley eventually took the firm public in 1995, and Rational Software bought it for $750 million in 1997.

Reed Hastings: Netflix Idea

Hastings got the concept for Netflix from an incident that occurred after he left Adaptive Technology in 1997. Hastings owed the video business $40 for 6 weeks due to a late charge for a rented tape of “Apollo 13” that he had misplaced. This is when he and Marc Randolph, a former Pure Software employee, co-founded Netflix in the Scotts Valley. Netflix began as a simple flat-rate movie rental service that sent DVDs to customers in the United States by mail. Instead of a print catalog, they created a website where people could buy the film.

Netflix: First Year

According to Hastings, he had no clue that customers would use Netflix when he launched it, and today the business has more than 200 million users. The firm attracted 239,000 subscribers in its first year alone. The DVDs were shipped out in red envelopes, and consumers who wanted to retain the DVDs for a longer period were not charged a late fee. Netflix went public in 2002, and Reed moved the company’s main goal from rental-by-mail movies to building a video streaming service in 2007, inspired by YouTube.

Reed Hastings Book: No Rule Rules

As Netflix evolved, the firm became known for its creative approach to personnel management and the working environment. Netflix gives subpar workers hefty severance packages and the opportunity to plan their time off on their own. Hastings made the internal culture guide public in August 2009, which served as a pre-employment screening tool, preventing unsuitable people from applying. Hastings and Erin Meyer co-authored No Rule Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention in 2020. The book went on to become a best-seller in the New York Times.

Reed Hastings: Donations

  • After becoming a millionaire, Hastings gave millions to charter schools and established a $100 million charity foundation for children’s education in 2016.
  • He gave $100,000 to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s redistricting effort, “Voters First.”
  • Hastings gave $251,491.03 to Budget Reform Now, a coalition supporting Propositions 1A through 1F in California, in 2009.
  • Hastings and his wife contributed $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Marehose College, and Spelman College in June 2020. It was the largest single contribution ever made to HBCU scholarships.

Reed Hasting: Helping Poor

Hastings is one of the people who have given the world what it requires. He was confronted with a challenge, and he devised and implemented a solution. He refined the concept of viewing movies and came up with Netflix, a powerful proposition. Netflix is no longer just a way to chill; it has evolved into a lifestyle for not only teenagers but also children and the elderly. It is because of people like Reed Hastings that the world believes in humanity. Despite becoming a millionaire, he never ceased assisting the world’s poor.

Aashi Jain
Aashi Jain View More Posts

I've completed my graduation and will be pursuing a master's degree in a couple of months. I've developed an immense interest in the field of content writing and gained experience by interning with companies. I am an ambitious person and look forward to living an independent life.

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