This is an open letter to Netflix, similar to the email (full text here) I received two days ago. In the email I (and many other customers) received, CEO Reed Hastings explained the newest iteration of Netflix:
“So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.
We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.”
At this point I am thinking to myself “Okay, when I log into Netflix now, I am going to see ‘Qwikster’ and ‘Netflix’, well at least they are going to be on the same site.” But wait I was wrong:
“Each website will be focused on just one thing (DVDs or streaming) and will be even easier to use. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated. So if you subscribe to both services, and if you need to change your credit card or email address, you would need to do it in two places. Similarly, if you rate or review a movie on Qwikster, it doesn’t show up on Netflix, and vice-versa. [Bold, Italics added]“
On the professional front I have spent time being frustrated and fielding frustrated employee questions about multiple websites such as:
a.) Why do I have to log into one site for my perscriptions and one site for benefits/copay info?
b.) Why are my stock options not listed in the same site as my 401k ?
c.) You mean the log in to this system is different then windows/my computer/Oracle/PeopleSoft/Network/email ? Why?
It is easy to understand why people become frustrated with multiple sites, sometimes it can be easy to explain (one vendor for your stock options and one for your 401k Mr. Executive), and sometimes not so much.
But these questions speak to what everyone wants: Make it simple and easy for me to access my information and by the way put it all in one place with the same log in information.
I am floored that a company as innovative as Netflix thinks this is a good idea. We are in a world where people want everything integrated and available at their fingertips (integrated HCM anyone?), it makes no sense to set this up.
Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this is a bad idea, take a look at some of the less then flattering coverage this has recieved:
It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, either way we may be reading about this as a success or failure in the Harvard Business Review in a few years.
What do you think? Am I off base here? Do you think Netflix is going to recover and rebound? Post your comments below.