The Time Netflix Considered Selling Itself to Amazon for Peanuts
> It was the summer of 1998. DVDs had been in the U.S. market for a little over a year, and Netflix , the e-commerce company Reed Hastings and I had co-founded to sell and rent them through the mail, had been live for just over two months. I was the company’s CEO, Reed its largest investor.
> He was in his office, just hanging up the phone when we walked in. His desk, and the desks of the two other people he shared the office with, were made of doors mounted atop 4 × 4 wooden legs, braced with triangular metal pieces. I suddenly realized that every desk I’d seen in that office was the same.
> That would have been a pretty good outcome for me, since at the time, I owned about 30% of the company. Thirty percent of $15 million is a pretty nice return for 12 months of work—particularly when your wife is broadly hinting that it might be time to pull the kids out of private school, sell the house, and move to Montana.
> But for Reed, it wasn’t enough. He owned the other 70% of the company, but he’d also invested $2 million in it. And he was fresh off the sale of Pure Atria, the company formed out of his first software venture. He was already an “eight-figure guy.” A high-eight-figure guy.