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post #355
bio: stu

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The "Qwikster" is Short for Quixotic
 So Reed Hastings, of Netflix, emailed me last night. It was sent at 2:47am, which is the time of drunken emails--always a bad sign. In his email he starts up by saying, "I messed up. I owe you an explanation." He then proceeds with an explanation that defies imagination and common sense. Then, he doubles down. It all adds up to the dumbest corporate maneuver I've seen in my 32 years as a mindless consumer. It is as if Pepsi announced that they would be switching over to producing only Crystal Pepsi, but using the New Coke formula.

Anyway, Netflix is dividing up into two companies. Initially, they thought it was far too convenient for their customers to pay for both DVDs via the mail and streaming via the internet, so they decided to split that up into two separate plans. People complained about this, and so, to apologize, they've decided that those two services should be done by two separate companies. So, in the interest of "helping" out those people who only get DVDs sent to them and are the least able to process change, they're renaming the DVD section of the company Qwikster*, and keeping the streaming section named Netflix.

* This is not a joke

By now, it should be fairly apparent that Reed Hastings is trying to destroy his own company. I guess ever since corporations got declared to be people, we've been waiting to watch one commit suicide. Mr. Hastings wants to be the first. The reasons for this are probably too complicated to understand, but I have a few guesses.

Theories Concerning the Fragmentation of Netflix

  • Last night, his father Wilmot Reed Hastings, Sr., former attorney for the Nixon administration, appeared to him in a dream. After struggling to a vault hidden on a snowy mountain, Wilmot told Reed that he would never love Reed unless Reed broke up his company into pieces and made his own way through the world. Wanting nothing more than to live up to his father and namesake's wishes, Reed awoke and did so, naming the new company fragment the first thing that came to his mind.
  • Reed Hastings is subject to a particularly complicated and vicious Last Will and Testament left behind by a particularly cruel member of his family who was a huge fan of Brewster's Millions, which stipulates that Reed has thirty days to completely destroy his company so that it has absolutely no usable assets or capital left in the bank, while also having nothing to show for it. If he manages to succeed at this, he then stands to inherit an even larger corporation for him to run without benefiting society or leaving anything of use behind. This corporation is probably AT&T.
  • Money has lost all meaning to Reed Hastings, and so he is engaged in an extraordinarily complicated process to win an argument by making Qwikster a commonly generic term--a desire that came over him after starting out with a particularly vicious opening rack at a game of Scrabble.
  • He decided to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day by acting in a way that will do more to inspire piracy than anything anyone has ever done before.
  • He thinks we should be reading more rather than watching stupid movies, anyway.

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