Bruce McCarthy is Founder and Chief Product Person at UpUp Labs, where he and his team are at work on Reqqs - the smart roadmap tool for product people.

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Netflix Abandons Quikster



Reader Comments (2)

The Oatmeal's inimitable take on changes at Netflix: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/netflix ;)

Joy of Tech's is pretty good, too: http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/1593.html

October 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterBruce McCarthy

Someone asked me what I meant when I posted the above in a LinkedIn PDMA forum. Here was my reply. Hope it helps to clarify.

Netflix has been so obsessed with the streaming business model that they seem to have lost sight of business realities such as why their customers buy from them and what brand names already have currency. Some specifics:

* They removed the ability to manage your DVD queue from their mobile apps, focusing them only on streaming. The only reason I downloaded the iPhone app was to add movies I wanted to watch later at the moment I heard about them.

* They raised prices for people who want both streaming and DVDs in a self-admitted effort to get people to choose between them, completely ignoring customers long-stated desire to get all of their media from as few sources as possible.

* Most recently they attempted to spin off their DVD business under a new brand called "Quikster" with a separate website, separate queues, etc., ignoring the above and also that no one had ever heard of (or could spell) the new brand name. And what's more, ignoring their chief advantage over streaming rivals like Comcast, FiOS and Hulu - a nearly complete library of DVD content.

They finally caved to customer outrage over these repeatedly tone-deaf moves (see the screenshot of the email I got yesterday from them), but I see no indication that they get *why* their customers didn't like the idea.

A good product manager, on the other hand, would have been able to quickly put together some buyer personas based on real market research that would have demonstrated clearly how off-base the corporate strategy of jettisoning the DVD business was before they got so far down this road.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBruce McCarthy

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