Qwikster and 7 Other Terrible, Short-Lived Ideas (slideshow)

To remain successful, companies have to be ruthless about killing their own ideas. The smartest ones kill off their bad innovations quickly, as happened today, when Netflix’s affable CEO Reed Hastings admitted that the company’s plans to separate its DVD rental service from its online streaming unit would make life unnecessarily “difficult” for its loyal customers.

The decision came three months after Netflix announced that it was creating a separate payment plan for DVDs and streamed movies, and less than three weeks after Hastings appeared in what may be the world’s cheapest-looking corporate video to offer his sincere apologies for mishandling Netflix’s confusing news — before informing users that he had more of it. Specifically, he said, beyond two payment plans, Netflix would be breaking itself into two companies: Netflix for streaming video, and brand-new Qwikster for DVD rentals.

Whether the zaniness will hurt Netflix in the long term remains to be seen, but at least we gained a very funny “Saturday Night Live” sketch from it. Check it out, along with seven other, terrible, short-lived ideas.

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1 Comment

  • That SNL skit pegged it. Reed Hastings must not have seen that clip as he went on to feed the fire. I appreciate that they are trying to listen to their customers and correct a misstep. However, for customers like me who left after the price hike, its too little too late. I found a service that offered more then Netflix ever did for about the same “old” price. The Blockbuster Movie Pass from my TV provider/employer DISH Network.com is my new service. I get streaming and rental of as many DVDs, Blu-rays, and video games as I can cram in a months time. I only have to deal with one web site, one queue to manage and one bill. I am glad that Netflix is listening to their customers. I am also very happy with my new service and won’t be going back.

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