Reed Hastings got the idea that became Netflix on the way to the gym.
It was 1998, and Hastings owed the video store $40 in late fees on an overdue VHS cassette of Apollo 13. The problem, he realized, was that he was paying by the rental — whereas at the gym, he paid the same amount no matter how much he used it. His epiphany became Netflix, a household synonym for creating a better system.
It’s no small achievement that Netflix garnered 20 million subscribers in little more than a decade. But bringing wide change to education for low-income children is a challenge of a different order.
Hastings will join Kaya Henderson, the Acting Chancellor of DC Public Schools, to talk about that challenge in the closing keynote talk at Summit 2011. Both have established reputations as respected innovators — one in teacher preparation and systems of education; and the other in technology and customer service. They will close the Summit day with thoughts about the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in changing the way that large numbers of children learn, and closing achievement gaps that affect the life chances of millions of American children.
We are thrilled that Henderson and Hastings will share a stage at the Summit. Over the next several days, we will be announcing other key speakers for what will be an extraordinary day. Watch this space.