I have just finished reading the book “That Will Never Work”, which is the Netflix origin story recounted by the co-founder, Marc Randolph. One of the reviews that I found when I was originally deciding what book to read said that I could expect a similar style to Phil Knight’s book, Shoe Dog. However, I personally found Randolph’s book more concise, interesting, and easy to read (although Shoe Dog was good as well).
I feel like it is always beneficial to hear the origin story of a Fortune 500 company such as Netflix. As Randolph makes pretty clear throughout the book, many of these “founders” just started off as relatively ordinary people. Although Randolph may have been smart, driven, and from a privileged background, there are plenty of people that fit this description who never go on to found a company 1% as successful as Netflix. I feel like this book is relatively relatable to readers because it goes into detail about the struggles that Netflix and Randolph had to deal with (which were plenty). While we all love Netflix and see it as a company too big to fail now, that is very far from the truth of 20 years ago. At the beginning, Netflix had to compete with significantly larger companies such as Blockbuster, Amazon, Walmart, etc. At no point in its first 5-10 years was it guaranteed to become a success, much less the company that it became today.
I think this book has many good lessons for anyone who has ever considered starting their own business. It shows that startups and entrepreneurship are not for everyone, and that they require a drive and passion beyond a normal 9-5 job. It is also just a good book in general for anyone to read, as it helps to humanize even the world’s most “successful” people.
I really enjoyed this book, and I think it is worth giving it a try if you are looking for something to read!
That Will Never Work Recommendation Rating: 4
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for