After Starbucks it's Netflix

[Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix] [Pic:]

As Starbucks is for coffee, Netflix is for movies, says Reed Hasting, Netflix CEO. I prefer to change Reed Hastings’ words. Like Google is for search, Starbucks is for coffee and Netflix is for movies. For all the three brands have been under-estimated when they came about. And slowly people started submitting to them. Now they rule their areas of operation, however modularized they are.

Having a Blockbuster right outside my apartment complex, I was tempted to join Blockbuster’s DVD by mail program so that I would also get some coupons for in-store movie rentals. After all I thought, brand doesn’t matter. A movie buff requires only a store with movies and it will do. After constant pressures from few of my like-minded friends, I landed at Netflix.

Netflix was a suprise to me. I got DVDs delivered in one day interval and I’ve been watching movies nearly everyday for the last month. More than my urge to watch movies, it’s Netflix thats pushing DVDs one after the other, three at a time, like a server robot to make me watch movies. Thats one reason I started the two-minute reviews category in the blog. Still, with the in-flow of movies, I’ve not been able to jot much. The more I watch the less time I get for other stuff. Cable no more attracts me. Even HBO seems so trivial. When I have Netflix, I can nearly watch any hollywood movie I wish, within a day’s time. Though I miss those days of watching a movie trailer in Star TV and waiting for it to be premiered, Netflix is a killer service.

A friend who went ahead with Blockbuster cancelled it’s service because even the first DVD arrived five days after him subscribing to it. Another friend gets movies regularly from Blockbuster. So Blockbuster isn’t any less than Netflix except that Netflix has seven years of pioneering experience in DVD rental-by-mail industry. They also have a stupendous back-end. Probably a well developed Data Warehouse I suppose. They analyze every subscriber’s movie likings and have put up a movie recommendation section that just rocks. Also their strategically placed collection centers play a vital role in Netflix’s progress.

Netflix heavily relies on the well developed the American postal service. Else even day-dreaming a service like this would be waste of time. With heavy rumors surrounding Netflix being takenover by Amazon, though I hate consolidations in the industry, if only Amazon could add more value to the existing Netflix service, it would be a warm welcome. Also, Blockbuster planning to double-up it’s rental stores as collection centres would increase it’s service capabilities exponentially and would be a looming threat to Netflix. If only success depends on customer satisfaction, Netflix wins hands-down.

I already have 65 movies in a queue ranging from Psycho to Identity to Malena to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. So one day it’s Dennis Weaver trying to runaway from a truck driver in Spielberg’s Duel. Another day it’s Branko Djuric as Ciki becoming victim of a bombing in No Man’s Land. Be it Antonella Attili falling in love with movies and Cinema Paradiso, Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones writing a diary, Robert De Niro boxing his way with the Raging Bull, John Cusack and you getting crazy inside the head of John Malkovich, Shahrukh as the stupendous Mohan Bharghava catching the next AirIndia to India or even Nana Patekar doing a realistic act as Sadhu Agashe while couting Ab Tak Chappan, the possiblities with Netflix are limited by the number of movies released. Netflixing Life !!