Co-founder of Netflix will headline spring semester speaking engagement

Apple’s Co-Founder Steve Wozniak was the speaker for the Muma College of Business Thought Leader Series last year. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Netflix co-founder and former CEO Marc Randolph will speak in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Oval Theatre on Feb. 21 at 2:30 p.m. as the second speaker in the Muma College of Business Thought Leader Series.

The event is free and open to the public. When it was first announced on Nov. 16, 705 spots were available, however, due to the high demand, the event sold out after one week since its announcement.

Tickets had to be claimed online in advance to attend the lecture.

According to Lorie Briggs, director of communications and external relations of the Muma College of Business, a waiting list is available for those still interested in attending the lecture. Currently, there are 21 people on the list, with the possibility of some dropping. Depending on the event’s demand, the event can be moved to the Yuengling Center.

Randolph will deliver a 40-minute talk about his achievements, innovations and his life’s career, including the creation of the Netflix empire. After the lecture, questions will be taken from the audience for an additional 30 minutes.

This year is the second edition of the Muma College of Business Thought Leader Series. Last year, Apple’s Co-Founder Steve Wozniak attracted an audience of more than 2,700 people to the Yuengling Center. Due to the high demand, the event sold out within two hours after the announcement.

Born in Chappaqua, New York, Randolph is an American entrepreneur, advisor and investor.

Alongside Reed Hastings, Randolph created the online movie and television streaming service Netflix in the late 1990s. According to Netflix Investor Relations, as of October 2018, Netflix has a total of 137 million subscribers worldwide and 58.46 million in the U.S.

Netflix’s initial idea was to provide DVD sales by mail, focusing on the DVD rental business. In 2007, the company introduced their own streaming service and in 2010, expanded its services internationally. Nowadays, with an increasing success, Netflix’s annual revenues surpass the $3 billion mark.

“Reed and I were in downtown Santa Cruz and we were saying, ‘I wonder if we can mail these things,’” Randolph wrote in the book Netflixed. “We went in and bought a music CD and went into one of the stationery stores and bought a greeting card and stuck the CD in the envelope and mailed it to Reed’s house. And the next day, he said, ‘It came. It’s fine.’ If there was an ‘aha’ moment, that was it.”

Throughout his time working at Netflix, Randolph served as its founding CEO, executive producer of its website and as a member of its board of directors until his retirement in 2004.

In the past few years, Randolph co-founded the analytics software company Looker Data Sciences. In addition, Randolph is a board member of Chubbies Shorts, Getable, OpenEd, National Outdoor Leadership School and 1% For The Planet.

“Nobody knows what is going to work in advance,” Randolph said in a lecture at High Point University. “The only way to figure out if it is a good idea or not is by taking a risk. Don’t show me your three-year business plan. Figure out ways to test things cheaply, quickly and simply. You have to do something; you have got to try something."


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