In July, the video rental company decided to raise subscription rates by 60 percent on its DVD-by-mail service, which caused a huge uproar among its 25 million monthly subscribers. In September, Hastings announced that the company was spinning off its DVD-by-mail business into a separate company called Qwikster — a move that caused an even bigger customer backlash.
“We simply moved too quickly, and that’s where you get those missed execution details. It’s causing, as you would expect, an internal reflectiveness,” Hastings said in the interview. “We know that we need to do better going forward. We need to take a few deep breaths and not move quite as quickly. But we also don’t want to overcorrect and start moving stodgily.”
Hastings said the mistakes were the product of underestimating the depth of emotional attachment to Netflix. Still, it’s unfair to judge the company solely on the actions of the past few months, he added.
Netflix went public nearly a decade ago, opening with a stock price of $7.50 per share. At the time, the company had under a million subscribers. Today, Netflix has over 25 million subscribers and a much higher stock price.