Netflix co-founder inspires future entrepreneurs

Marc Randolph discusses innovation and the early days of the streaming service in the UM System’s virtual presentation.


Oct. 26, 2020

What separates an entrepreneur from other people is a “predisposition to action” and an understanding that risk-taking is “not a terrible thing,” according to Marc Randolph, co-founder and the first CEO of Netflix.

Randolph, who helped lay the groundwork for the estimated $230 billion service that has altered how the world experiences media, discussed innovation and the early days of Netflix during a September livestream event hosted by the University of Missouri System for young people interested in starting their own companies.

Randolph said that entrepreneurs often have to make decisions based on incomplete, inconclusive or contradictory information.

“Every idea is flawed, but it’s taking that step and trying something,” Randolph said. “Only once you realize why it’s wrong, can you fix it and try something else. That is what an entrepreneur does all day long.”

Friend and former colleague Bill Turpin, MU associate vice chancellor of economic development and CEO of the Missouri Innovation Center, invited Randolph to share his wisdom with the goal of inspiring students and educating them about what it takes to be an innovator.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are so key to what we do,” said Mun Choi, UM System president and MU chancellor. “We want to see our students use the true power of their thinking in very unconventional and innovative ways to solve problems that they encounter.”

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