One and a half years ago, we asked the question whether Netflix’s stock had finally hit rock bottom. A year before that, in July 2011, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had announced a new pricing model that separated its streaming service from DVD-rentals. Hastings had insisted that the change was necessary to ensure his company’s future success, but Netflix’s stock began tumbling nonetheless. Within a year, Netflix’s share price dropped almost 80 percent and the company’s future was in doubt.
It turns out that Hastings was exactly right back in 2011. Today Netflix is looking better than ever. The company is dominating the flourishing streaming market and its stock price almost quadrupled during 2013. Even though 2013 was a good year for most public tech companies, Netflix stands out as the clear winner because its CEO was brave enough to make an unpopular decision at a time when it had to be made.