Netflix, which btw is a pretty good name for a company that does what it does (send web-selected dvds in the mail) and what it hopes to do more of (stream ‘em), pissed off a lot of people last year. And the people, who generally feel uncommon love for this corporation (sometimes you hug the messenger, especially if he brings Brad Pitt), felt jilted. First, the founder said he would no longer dance with what brung him, proposing to rename that old toe-smashing dvd-delivery business Qwikster (a domain he apparently registered in ’97)—and focus on streaming. This divide-and-conquer plan was jettisoned so qwikly that we never learned whether the new/old site would come in a strawberry flavor too. Nestle gave no guidance. Netflix also raised their prices—by 60%!
On some days last year, you could buy a share of Netflix stock for $62. On other days, it’d run you $300. Customers deserted by the millions during the summer. Yet in the 4th quarter the company added more than 600,000 new ones. In the last month the stock price rose 83%.