An extensive Wired Magazine profile of Netflix
Since starting the company in 1997, Hastings' goal has always been the same: to deliver the right content in the fastest and most economical way. Obsessed with designing the perfect algorithm for helping viewers discover new movies, he has packed the place with mathematicians and engineers. They test everything, from the recommendations engine to the Web site's design. But if Hastings uses geeky number-crunching to help customers find their movies, his process of delivering them has been decidedly low tech: sending DVDs in red envelopes via the US Postal Service, which costs him roughly a quarter of his $1.4 billion in annual revenue.