The Fascinating History of Netflix – Interesting Engineering

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Netflix is the de facto place to go for movie and TV series streaming on the planet. According to sites like, its services alone constitute about 15% of all the world's internet bandwidth! Not bad for a company that originally posted DVDs by snail mail. Here we explore the origins of the company and track some of its important milestones in history.  RELATED: HOW EXACTLY DOES NETFLIX RECOMMEND MOVIES TO YOU? Who started Netflix? Netflix was first founded in August of 1997 by two serial entrepreneurs Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. The company started out in Scotts Valley, California and has grown to become the world's leading internet entertainment platform. Advertisement When it first opened, Netflix was purely a website-based movie rental service. It allowed people to rent DVDs online. Advertisement Users would put in their orders and receive a DVD in the post. When they'd finished with them, they simply posted them back to Netflix.  Advertisement Today it has over 151 million paid subscribers in over 190 countries around the world. .

It offers a wide range of TV series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Advertisement Reed Hastings Source: Guety/Wikimedia Commons "Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997. In 1991, Reed founded Pure Software, which made tools for software developers. After a 1995 IPO, and several acquisitions, Pure was acquired by Rational Software in 1997. Advertisement Reed is an active educational philanthropist and served on the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. He is currently on the board of several educational organizations including KIPP and Pahara. Reed is also a board member of The City Fund. Advertisement Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983, and an MSCS in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University in 1988. .

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