Online MBA Programs (who?) has compiled a variety of stats into compelling series of graphics that document “How Netflix Destroyed Blockbuster.” While the inverse parallels are dramatic and it’s worth perusing, I remain convinced that Blockbuster is fully responsible for their downward spiral.
Many have pointed to Blockbuster’s missed opportunity of acquiring Netflix on the cheap a decade ago, but the end result would have have likely remained the same given their leadership and vision. And an inability to execute.
Take for example, Blockbuster’s failed forays beyond the brick & mortar. They launched their own mail order DVD service and acquired Movielink for online video. Which saw little uptake and questionable management commitment. Then there was that poor video streaming box that they failed to market (or update) and then quickly buried. Blockbuster had a significant evolutionary opportunity to take on Redbox in the DVD rental kiosk market given their brand. But they were late to that party too and largely licensed away their advantage to NCR.
As a product of the 80s, I witnessed first hand Blockbuster’s decimation of the small video retailer and suffered through more than my fair share of long lines and surly customer service. Not to mention BBI’s late uptake of DVDs which, incidentally, is when I began my defection from the their hegemony. So, while I feel for folks let go as Blockbuster rightfully implodes, I feel no remorse in relation to the brand’s failure.
I have no idea what the future holds for Blockbuster. In fact, the consortium of debtholders that’s agreed to purchase the remains (for a mere $290 million) doesn’t seem to either. In fact, beyond Chapter 11, one option on the table: complete liquidation.
(via New York Times)