Joining Netflix in its very early days, Mitch was responsible for the company’s business development strategy and witnessed the startling growth of one of the internet’s first industry disruptors. He considers how consumers react to being offered a vast array of choices and the opportunities for businesses that this presents. He also urges those seeking to innovate or differentiate themselves to simplify and focus on their core aims.
Mitch Lowe was one of the founding executives of Netflix, serving as their first Vice President responsible for business development and partnerships as well as leading their understanding of the entertainment sector. He has since gone on to leading roles in other businesses that seek to marry technology with the traditional entertainment sector.
Netflix started when Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph realised the relatively new DVD format could easily be packaged and posted, whilst the internet potentially offered customers access to a vast array of rental titles from which to choose. The business went on to radically change the home entertainment landscape as well as many a high street.
Mitch joined Netflix to lead commercial activities. He along with the founders established the company’s business development plan, building partnerships with studios and distributors as well as with those outside entertainment. After five years of rapid growth at Netflix Mitch left to go to McDonald’s. The company had invested in a DVD vending machine company, Redbox, which Mitch joined as COO before going on to serve as President. Yet another disruptive business model, he grew Redbox from a USD$1million revenue to USD$1.5billion in under eight years.
Mitch considers how the world has always embraced new technologies but complexity and choice are challenging by-products of progress. He uses the example a US entertainment market of over 140,000 films and over 500million TV shows, as well as multiple devices on which to watch them. He asks how the bewildering level of choice might provide opportunities for businesses seeking to find ways of predicting tastes and simplifying options. He looks at how the bulk of purchases are often from a relatively small pool and what businesses can learn from this. He urges organisations to simplify their proposition as much as possible. To strip down to the bare essentials of the transaction. To examine each process, every message – internal and external – and try to streamline them. And to never lose sight of the purpose of the organisation and their ultimate aim.
Mitch has continued to be involved in startups, particularly those seeking to disrupt how entertainment media is distributed and consumed. He has also worked with companies involved in new blockchain and social media sectors. An investor and advisor, he is now CEO of MoviePass, a US cinema ticket subscription service.
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