The San Jose Mercury News writes on the Aha Moment for the founders of Netflix: “Reed Hastings and a partner were casting about in 1996 for the next big idea while waiting to sell their software company to Microsoft. The plan, to deliver videos by mail, got a cold reception from venture capitalists. Then a friend recommended DVDs. Hastings had never seen one, but quickly calculated the discs would be much cheaper to mail — needing only a first-class stamp. That, he recalled, was the key “aha moment.”…Today, Netflix of Los Gatos is riding the wave of consumer demand for DVDs, pairing the Internet with old-fashioned mail to deliver 100,000 rentals a day nationwide.”
Every entrepreneur has memories of that moment when all of a sudden things fall into place, when the future becomes so blindingly obvious. It is the moment wherein the jigsaw puzzle comes together, and an idea turns into a business. We all have these moments. My Emergic Aha Moment came when in January as ai was trolling through LinuxWorld, I came across 486s running Linux Thin Clients. Out of that emerged the idea of using old PCs as desktops combined with server-based computing to create a low-cost computing platform for the next generation of users.
Hastings’ words echo my feelings of the opportunity before us: “There is an opportunity to build a very large and important consumer company like Starbucks did. Lattes at $3.50 were a niche market at one point. No one could imagine such a thing.”