“That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea” is: Wonderful and Enjoyable book

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Front cover of the book “That Will Never Work”

Javier Hernandez'23, Review Writer

A book about the creation of Netflix -a streaming-based streaming service- “That Will Never Work” is a fascinating and interesting book with its descriptive characters, intriguing plot, and the fascinating way Netflix started.

 “That Will Never Work” is a biography by Marc Randolph explaining the journey of Netflix including the process, conversation, thoughts, friendships, business deals, troubles, and solutions. The book highlights key characters like Reed Hastings, the executive officer of Netflix. 

Randolph does an outstanding job introducing characters. When introducing a character, Randolph gives background knowledge about the character, like how he knows them and where they worked. The characters are well described and give descriptive words of one’s appearance.  This makes it easier to visualize that person. 

In the book, there are a wide variety of characters, some more relatable than others. What makes the characters stand out is the expressions given and how, in the perspective of Randolph, they are feeling.

The plot is so intriguing from the beginning through the end. What makes the plot intriguing is all the difficult problems Netflix had and all the emotions the characters went through to get Netflix to where it’s at.  Reading the book gives a sense of how it feels to start a business, with all the fights, problems,  offers, and having to change plans because of uneasy circumstances. What was most surprising were the fast unexpected twists like having to fire workers and meetings with big companies. What I liked about the book is that the chapters are in chronological order from the brainstorming process to the launch of Netflix.

Throughout the entirety of the book, Randolph captures the reader’s attention by describing how Netflix started into what it’s now without leaving a single detail behind. Randolph spent most of the book talking about Netflix and how that small idea started from a conversation in a car. How it evolved into a company that’s main focus was to rent and ship DVDs using an online store, which was a big thing back in 1997 and became a streaming platform, streaming over 3,000 movies/shows.

Although Randolph’s point of view gives a lot of information on the start of Netflix it only gives one point of view. There might be some information that is missing as Randolph might not have experienced those situations.

-336 pages

-Get in Public Library or Buy through  Amazon  

-Published Sep. 17, 2019