Saturday, February 9, 2008

Internet, Films and Education Reform

There is an interesting interview in today's Wall Street Journal with Reed Hastings the CEO of Netflix. Netflix is partnering with a Korean company to create a (TV) set top box which will allow users to stream films from the internet directly to their TV. (It's about time, if I have to go to my mail box one more time to get a movie, my head will explode!)

When asked if he was worried that people would be willing to pile yet another box under their televisions (I have three, plus a small stereo nestled under and around my TV) he replied, "No, that's not my concern, and the reason is if you've got compelling content, people will hook up another box." Ah- the compelling content argument always one of my favorites, but he's right good content (almost) always wins.

So the question is begged, why not a Netflix set top box? "We looked at that and realized that customers also want this functionality that is embedded in other devices, like a game console, and that we should work purely on just being an incredible service." How refreshing someone wants to focus on delivering a much wanted product with incredible service. They aren't interested in doing everything.

Hastings is convinced Internet television is the future and he knows it will take a while getting there. "I think there's a huge category of people who will watch movies on laptops, and remember it's not the laptop of today. Think of the laptop in five years. People will continue to watch movies on TV no doubt about it. But laptop screens are improving and young people are living on laptops."

Perhaps a more interesting thing to me about Reed Hastings is his passion for school reform. After amassing his first fortune he began trying to "figure out why our education is lagging when our technology is increasing at great rates and there's great innovation in so many other areas-health care, biotech, information technology, movie-making. Why not education?"

This positive note is a good place to end. I think what we are doing at Flashpoint Academy is changing traditional education and looking to the future and new technology and finding a way to integrate them. And speaking of the future of education and movie-making technology, the next post will be about the Red One Camera- which we just used over the eight days of production of the Flashpoint Academy film, The Intruder.