Roku: Anthony Wood - Transcripts

November 21, 2022

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Anthony Wood helped transform the media landscape…twice. First, in the early 2000’s, when he invented a device that let you record, pause, and re-watch live TV. The DVR was a game-changer, but the company Anthony built around it—ReplayTV—was eventually out-maneuvered by TiVo. Unfazed, Anthony developed another piece of hardware; one that would tap into the growing power of the internet by letting TV’s stream digital content. In 2008, he launched the Roku box, a $99 device that connected your TV to the internet, with a remote simple enough for your grandmother to use. It’s hard to imagine now, but Anthony initially had a hard time convincing investors and media execs that the Roku—and streaming devices like it—would completely change the way we watch TV. Today, Roku has grown into an expansive media company that creates and distributes content to more than 65 million accounts worldwide. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcript

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it's amazing the number of media companies active that didn't think streaming would be popular they just thought there's nothing wrong with cable and satellite the world is not going to change but it was so clear that of course is going to change the internet has disrupted every industry and it's going to disrupt video as well in fact I did it is a pretty big competitive advantage that people underestimate us and so they're always surprised when they lose

welcome to how I built this show about innovators entrepreneurs idealists and the stories behind the movements they built I'm guy rise and on the show today hello Antony would help transform the way we watch television first with the DVR then was broken massive streaming platform with the remote it's simple enough grandparents to figure out one of the things we look for on the show our products and ideas that have had a big impact on how we live our lives so Starbucks is an obvious one because even if you don't drink their espresso drinks it's because of Starbucks influence that

you

can get great espresso drinks almost anywhere in the United States you might not use PayPal to send money but the PayPal model has changed how we pay for stuff same with AOL or gord ash Instagrammer many of the other brands that have been on the show in the past in some way large or small change the way that you and me and most people we know will live and this is basically what Anthony would wanted to do he wanted to change how we watch television and he managed to succeed twice even though the first attempt ended in defeat that defeat happened in the early two thousands with the product Anthony created called replay TV replay TV was a digital video recorder very similar to develop and Anthony would keep basically invented the DVR except right when he launched his product devoted the same and managed to outmaneuver him and that could have been Anthony story invent the DVR but lose out to another company except as it turns out into the just getting started his experience with ReplayTV triggered this idea that a single product could have a major impact in this case a single device could change our relationship T. V. it could give us a lot more control over what we watched and when so in two thousand two entity set out to start something that would wind up having even more of a cultural impact the D. V. are broken well it was a device that let people stream content directly from the internet and streaming changed everything along with apple TV and Chromecast fire broke who helped usher in an entirely new way of interacting with television and what sets it apart was its simplicity roku was made to be so easy to use so intuitive that you're ninety year old grandmother could figure it out within minutes today the company has more than sixty five million active users which means it's a giant perhaps the biggest giant when it comes to home streaming products the man who came up with the idea and he would also push the company into the production business recently roku produced a biopic parity of weird al Yankovic called weird anyway entity grew up in the nineteen seventies mostly in Houston his dad was an aircraft engineer and a middle school Anthony discovered computers and soon writing his own software and eventually trying to sell it but when he started college at Texas a and M. he didn't major in computer science

I didn't want to do computers because I was a little arrogant I think looking back on and thinking that kind of knew everything there was to know about computers for programming if anything I used to think a lot about how to was more interested like and we're starting a company be a good way to make money

yeah

and I'm not sure why one of money except that I remember I wanted a better modem and I could only afford a certain kind of modem

yeah

the only four to three in about modems of twelve bought modem so it wasn't clear why I was motivated to have money but other than I've just earning money you know was sort of a characteristic of our family basically I go out there and make some money

when you were in college one of those ways to make money was I mean you course you knew how to write software basic software and I guess you decided to start my little company making software for Commodore computers the Amiga what was the software that you you were making

the first products we made I was into kind of digital audio stuff back then which is a new thing and so I made a something called a sound digitizer that would record stereo me back then computers didn't do that basically hook up your CD player your microphone to your your personal computer and record recorded an software for editing it and that was because I called that perfect sound and that was fairly successful actually that was the first products are sold

so you call this company sunrise and and the idea was to sell this I mean your junior in college making the software and hardware and who who who you're selling to how are you selling to people

well I would have my friends build it and then there was a computer store in Houston called micro search and the guy that ran it was pretty entrepreneurial and he would distribute it basically and sell it you know then I figured out how he sold off the stores and so then I started we started doing it ourselves and then we start adding other products besides the sound digitizer

this became like real business like you started to make money I mean I think a red cross almost a hundred thousand dollars in profits at a certain point

yeah I remember I made would make about a hundred thousand dollars a year which for a college student was was good money but it wasn't it wasn't like you know mark Zuckerberg Bill Gates kind of money but but and then the other thing I learned a lot you know I learned a lot about business obviously doing and one things I learned about business is one of my big lessons was the amount of money after port on your tax return is unrelated to how much cash you have in the bank in the hardware business you gotta buy parts use symbol them so you go by the party to pay for the parts in advance you semblance of the things you're gonna sell and then you sell those things and then those people that buy them to stores they take thirty days or ninety days to pay you so you don't get paid for a long time after you buy the parts and so he is a cash you have a cash flow issue and so but you pay taxes on the sales no matter what the cash situation this summer moving Sir about race I had to pay taxes on money I didn't have

I'm I guess while you were running this business because it was so successful your grades start to suffer like you couldn't you were not going to class because you are focused on this this budding enterprise

yep so we got up I think we got up to about fourteen employees had little office and I would sign up for classes get busy and I wouldn't go and they sent me a letter saying that I was on probation at one semester and so I decided well

I would regret

not finishing my college degree I was probably only a year away from his full time so am I decided that I would basically stopped doing what I was doing go back to school full time get my degree in and kinda restarted so that that's what I did

so I think you're twenty five or twenty five when you when you got your degree and and one of the people that work for you at sunrise was

is that your wife Susan right

yes that's where I met my wife Susan I hired her I was very very controversial it's time to start dating someone I hired

yep

she was hired to do the circuit board assembly just kind of funny because she she told me later that she had no idea what a prince record was specifically she could assemble stuff and so she applied for the job and we basically at that point hi to anyone who applied and then after college we moved out to Silicon Valley she was the office manager for for the new version of the company and I remember it was kind of funny because I didn't really know where Silicon Valley wise I mean I knew was in northern California but I remember we had our map out driving around trying to find out where is the Silicon Valley thing and it's not on the maps

so you came out to Silicon Valley not with the intention of getting a job at a bigger company

but

to reconstitute summarize and to to basically just build it up there and that was what you were billed

yes but this time more focused on audio more specifically focused on professional audio

you ran that you run a business for five years and I guess you you could you ran it until Commodore kind of went out of business because it was really designed for Commodore computers tell me about that decision I mean was it like you just cut when the company down in it had been going well or it was not going well or or or what happened

is going really well but to be honest does get a little tired doing audio stuff like in the audio for video business which is which are market audio was always a second class citizen compared to the video and then the and then the internet was just getting big and that

this is this is like ninety five so again right mosaic Netscape was out already

Netscape would just come out ya who was like a couple kids it was just the very beginning

yeah I guess I guess you decide at this point it is our new company that they could capitalize on on this burgeoning internet I think that this comical I abandon the exes are made like software that that people could use to build websites and and that kind of thing and and I'm I'm assuming you you use some of the money from sunrise to to get this new company going

yep side you know it's built up a pretty good bank account balance but I figure well my new company I will fund it but then we'll raise venture capital and kinda go bigger

yeah

and so I brought my friend as a partner because he knew all the venture capitalists and then hired a few engineers start going out trying to raise venture capital and then at the same time we got to suffer up to a point where we can demo it

it was not for sale yet it was just to demo it

was for sale just to show that potential investors

yeah

and there was a conference called demo

it was a convert or you could literally demo your

and then after that we had lots of interest

in investing

in buying the company

and find the company even though you did not have a prime for sale yet

now

the strike or nine months in and in fact you can offer from Macromedia like a few weeks later to buy you out

yeah

you saw the first partly for thirty six million dollars

right some

pretty amazing exit

yeah that's when I guess so compelling became like a real place to me

yeah I mean so and you personally owned most of the company maybe some of your employees that's medically but you on most of the

rain

so once you did that deal you you become and this is common with for this and I'm sure before you become an employee of Macromedia's partly contract usually and and and so now you are working your father in your early thirties house that had that go for you

it was a learning experience is very painful actually I mean I was excited like I'm going to work for a real company I've never had you gotta remember I never had a job before I don't lead I mean I had jobs like a Burger King but I never had a job you know a real company because I just run my own companies

yeah

and so I thought oh this is cool I can I can learn about how companies are Iran and yeah I learned a lot of stuff I didn't learn when I thought it was gonna learn I didn't really learn about the mechanics around the company I learned about the politics of not not Nestle bad politics but just how things work inside a company with lots of people and politics in the German humans that are in the big team together how they work and how they interact

you mentioned additional way to leave a little bit early before the end of your contract you mean you had millions of dollars you were set you have more money than you could imagine your parents ever had I mean this sounds like you were determined to start something new like what is that already a top of mind even even once you get sold I band that you were going to start something new once you got through this contractual obligation to Macromedia

yeah okay I'm not sure what what motivated mere drove me but I wanted to start a successful my quote successful Silicon Valley companies looking back on it selling a company for thirty whatever million dollars is quite successful but that's not the way it felt like I want to build the real company anyone just make the money

yeah

I felt like I had sold out and the way I just fights myself was I like well okay I'm gonna take this money that I get from selling this company and then after my employment contracts but when he's at the start another company

I mean the company would start you started ninety seven to really soon after you exited that that of legation Macromedia's replay TV read essentially then the first version of a DVR digital video recorder how did you how did you think about this in ninety seven I guess like DVDs are just starting to kind of come out but most people are still using VHS tapes most fields of our blockbuster at that time and you're thinking of of digital video recorder how did that idea come to

the idea came to me I mean just remember I was in I was in the digital video digital audio industry right that was

yeah

the internet was kind of a side track but unless I use the you know I used to watch TV I watched there was a show I used to watch called Star Trek the next generation I would it would come on when I was working or busy and so IBM poured it on videotape and it was just it's hard to do I mean you're not only program your VCR but even if you know how to do that you know you'd have awful things on a tape you know right on the tape he forget them is all kinds of problems

are is the company's call replay TV the idea was you were going to build a digital video recorder thinking that this was and this is ninety seven he did thinking this was gonna be the way you could store a lot more content it wouldn't be one tape it would be better quality because when you re re record over a the VHS cassette the quality degrades and you were thinking this is actual reading reading to digital video

that's close but not quite I mean definitely I felt like we're heading towards digital video the benefits I thought we're actually a lot better than what you just described it wasn't really about digital quality it was about the user interface of the simple that you could have features like you know I want to record anything that has Harrison Ford in it automatically for example I just felt like it would be a lot easier to use it would have features like pausing live TV and that yeah I mean this is pretty simple idea but it was it was novel back then like oh I wanna record every episode of Star Trek not just the one that's next Thursday but I want to work this record each episode and if it moves around in the schedule because they adjust the time because the football game and longer something still recorded because I was on the phone the video tapes back then was that you would miss the beginning or end because they would move to broadcast time slightly

right

so anyway so I figured well certainly we can solve this problem am I using digital video and digital audio on hard drives

by using a computer hard drive

yeah using a computer hard drive

right

but it was too expensive like you just think about okay I can build this but because we too much money to build a very expensive

yeah

it wouldn't be a consumer price point right so I used to just sort of watch the prices of you know I he's gonna back then the fries was popular and and

yeah sure

fry's electronics store yeah

big big consumer electronics is like a giant Best Buy but kind of more radio shack

right place

yes I am yeah

generator check for geeks basically and they would put an ad on the back page of Santa's emerging use every weekend rice's of hard drives you know would be one of the things and so I kind of watch the prices of hard drives and I think I decided that okay the hard drive is still gonna be kind of expensive but it's possible now to maybe sell something for five hundred dollars kind of which is sort of starting consumer price point so I decided it was possible to do it and ultimately I wanted one like I figured you know I I had enough experience to Silicon Valley venture capitals to figure out the harbor was really hard to get funded yeah consumer hardware especially C. parts get funded so it wasn't necessarily the best business choice but I I figured at least I would get a DVR out of it

so you you yourself were you were gonna physically build a prototype

no I am not personally but at this point you know I had enough money where when I decided to do the DVR I started a company and I start hiring people

and how quickly to take for you to have a working model

I think we probably had something to demo its investors after about a year we I mean we launched at C. S. nineteen ninety nine so that would be out in January nineteen ninety nine where we won best of show

right I know you got mark Andresen as an investor the founder of Netscape who at the time was not yet the famous mark Andresen of today have in recent Horowitz but he was certainly an important investor at the time did you have an easy time getting others

to invest it was hard I got some angel investors without a tremendous amount of difficulty

but no major institutional investors

well we were pitching them but they they were not interested it was amazing how many people thought it was a bad idea people say things like no one wants to pause live TV why would you want to do that

to get a bag of Cheetos

exactly it was it was kind of eye opening how how hard it is to explain a new idea for eventually we did I mean we did get institutional investors so I mean we do angels at first and then Vulcan which is Paul Allen's venture fund and Kleiner Perkins will Hurst

how much did you end up raising

it was over I remember the exact amount but it was like two hundred million dollars like that so it was a lot of money back then this was saying after we did the C. yes we got a lot more attention and then we then we managed to raise money for every major media company

yeah you do you debuts this you debuted this at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in nineteen ninety nine which was a big deal cause DVRs or not yet the worst thing but at that same exact show TiVo also debuted which was your it which would be your main rival I think you your like your boobs were side by side

yep that's right

when you I mean you must have known about TiVo as you were developing a replay TV must have known about your competitor they must know that you but you guys win best in show at CBS so clearly it's like replay TV is going to win this this forces beta verses of versus VHS all over again and here we go and and you must've thought we're gonna win this

well I was it was definitely heady times like you know we are on good morning America and like on TV and all kinds of stuff but I didn't feel like I felt like there was still a battle in front of us but yeah as far as devote when we start raising money then we start hearing about them they were called tell the world and what we really learned about them when it became so serious problem for us was we were pitching early on with Phillips was a consumer trends brand that was bigger back then and they had an office actually in Silicon Valley and I got introduced them I was pitching them

right and Philip says is that Dutch based multinational right that's that that company the label doesn't get the big

sick right tries to

get

them back then a TV's and yours

yep

so we're pitching them we were close on a deal so the idea was that they would build and sell that would license the technology to them and

yeah

and then what happened is tell the world got an article placed in the newspaper about what they're working on so then Phillips like we got to go talk to these guys before I do this deal with replay and then tell what is actually bought the deal which was a new concept to me like I'd never thought of doing a deal that was not gonna be profitable

tell the world got the deal with Phillips jealously basically abandoned you guys is that we're gonna go with tell the world yeah

because hello world pay them

tell the world paid Phillips to do the deal I scene said Phillips paying you to look to partner with you they got paid to make these boxes yep these DVR box I got just so already right then they had a massive advantage because they had a huge you know that a manufacturer behind them they could mass produce these products

right it was a big moment our business plan was we will sell these things at five hundred dollars will make money yeah the price will come down over time eventually they'll be very cheap but we'll start you know very traditional like the way every prior consumer electronics products ever been launched

yup

TiVo then tell the world decided that they would take advantage of this was tight in the dot com boom they would take advantage of the fact that they could raise a lot of money they raise a lot of money and then they starships at icing add the DVR's

selling them for what for a cut rate price at a loss

yes so this phone for ninety nine dollars instead of five hundred dollars well that was their plan

and and you guys there was no way you could tell your box for ninety nine dollars

correct so the big thing was they were going to subsidize a hardware

yep

we lost that deal that was like okay this is now I understand we got a competitor and they're buying the business like they just changed the game we're gonna have to raise a lot of money it turned out actually them getting Phillips was was good because we were both like you said a C. Este launches Phillips we didn't have a partner we won best of show the whole consumer products industry realized this was going to be a big deal

yeah

and TiVo has signed an exclusive with Phillips to get that deal so we were the open available partner

yeah

and we won best of show and so every consumer Chinese companies are talking to us and so we ended up signing a deal with Panasonic which was a bigger Brandon Phillips

and you I mean you had like Walt Mossberg with the time it column in the Wall Street journal he like tested both yours and TiVo's and he said the replay TV was more user friendly the interface was better like you were very well positioned to be calm the dominant DVR company I remember I was overseas at the time I remember coming back to the U. S. from time to time like two thousand to two thousand three and just seeing everybody get TiVo's Ivanov said that TiVo's but what happened I mean why why was a TiVo not replay TV if by all accounts it was a better product at that time

and we should first

I mean Randy Shuster first okay yeah so what happened

the dot com crash basically is what happened so they have turned it into a business where you have to have lots of money to be successful they had raised a lot of money we raise a lot of money as well but not as much as they did

right

and even though we raced to a million dollars plus the burn rate had cranked up and we were spending you know I remember some months it would be twenty million dollars a month

well

the thing that changed the dynamic as they went public before us we were just about six months behind them but then the dot com crash happened suddenly became impossible to go public

this is I get like around August of two thousand one or maybe a little earlier than that

two thousand I think I can

remember at least a dozen maybe December two thousand and that basically when the market crashed that that meant

yeah thank

you they withdrew

their so yeah they said well they said we can't go public and then that point you know because the burn rate it was we were gonna be out of business in several months

so you knew that you had to sell the business in order to unless otherwise you collapse

yep

and so you did in August of two thousand one it was announced that that replay TV was going to be purchased by a company called sonic blue yep think they paid reportedly hundred twenty million dollars for replay TV which would be less than what you raised to this I'm sure this is painful to talk about now but but I'm sure much more painful at the time

right

so when that happened when the company

sold

you're not broke you still have the money from the sale from your previous company but this was not a great outcome for you

and you

you kinda lost that war TiVo I just read to you and they they survived the dot com crash did you feel like because that was the that was the first kind of if not I would say was a failure but it was the closest kind of thing to failure an experience that when your career

I didn't I don't know I don't people say ask questions like you just asinine I don't I don't think much about whether something was a failure or success first of all I financially it wasn't it wasn't a huge failure I I did make money on the sale and I invented the DVR and lights I learned a huge amount of stuff and it was a separate great experience I felt like you know there were times three painful but overall it was just an incredible experience you know people cancel combined and all have experiences like that yeah we didn't I mean we didn't discuss all the all the sordid details but there was a lot of politics as well around the investors and the LA versus Silicon Valley culture

which he LA versus selling Silicon Valley culture what was the only part of it

well so the replay was sort of this hybrid of Silicon Valley in LA right because we had venture capital investors like Kleiner Perkins and then we had all the major media companies as investors and their all in the alley culture

and and you need an LA office because you needed to have by N. from the big media companies in order for replay TV to be successful

yeah and it was basically the business was a merger of Silicon Valley to distribute the platform in a service business you know to monetize it afterwards and the culturing incredibly different and what they respect is different as well and so for you know for example this is a small one but her member like we had a LA executive and he told me once like you need to calm your hair more unlike my hair is fine and so it was like for him yeah I'd like the way you your hair looks

is

incredibly important

yeah

even in just internal meetings so that's the that's just a small example

and what about like you're kind of a low key guy like you don't come across as being overly charismatic I'm from first impressions

yeah well that's true but I get along well with Silicon Valley engineers like they that's where I am right now he's only

you don't need to be not everybody needs to be Steve jobs to be successful in Silicon Valley in fact you really don't need to be Steve jobs to be successfully to you can be low key and quiet

yeah I think actually many Silicon Valley executives are like that

yeah

but they're very political and they didn't respond we didn't respect each other and so there was a lot of backstabbing that start happening so just became a very unhealthy situation

so once you left this is you know you two thousand one you're done what what was your head that point we thinking about the next business that you're gonna start or what do you remember about that time

I remember thinking I should take a break we had a vacation house in Oregon so I thought okay let's go let's spend the summer just relax and so I did that and I I quickly became very impatient so I realized I wasn't good at just sitting around I mean it's fun I went biking and mountain biking all kinds of stuff but I was ready to do something after that

or you start to think about I mean your greatest idea of of all time that the digital video recorder you know and and for most of us we have maybe one great idea in our life and and that was it you have that idea so what were you possibly gonna do that to top that

well I would say I would I would quibble of in that state was missing my best idea but it was the was the one that had the most mass market potential yeah right and had the you know ability to change the way billions of people acted and I'm not actually I think was it a lesson that I took away which was that you can spend your time on different things and some of them just have much bigger potential than other things and so maybe I should factor that in like maybe you should just be things that I'm interested in but should be things I'm interested in that also have the potential to impact a lot of people

but it was up until that point your best idea you could record anything that Harrison Ford isn't could skip commercials you could omit to completely change television viewing I mean is that what were you thinking that way at all

I was definitely not thinking that way I mean you can say that the DVR was my best idea that's not at all what I thought I thought that I got lots of good ideas

only come back in just a moment Anthony joins forces with the head of Netflix reed Hastings to build his next big idea that is until read decides to pull the plug on it stay with us I'm guy rise and you're listening to how I built this selecting the perfect new mattress can be overwhelming but when I was searching for my new one side first online store made it super easy for me cypher has a helpful quiz that you can take to find the best fit for you and for us it was important have an all natural mattress and SAF I had a great option and delivery was quick and the mattress is super comfortable and another thing that's great about sock but is that such a has super high quality mattresses sold for a fraction of the price that top retail brands sell for and with factories and service hubs around the country Suffolk can custom make mattresses to order and delivered them super quickly at your doorstep but actually to any room you choose where the also remove your old mattress and make sure everything is perfect get two hundred dollars off your purchase of a thousand dollars or more at Sanford dot com slash built that's S. H. E. A. T. V. A. dot com slash build American giant is the leading manufacturer of American made clothes when you choose American giant you are saying

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American dash giant dot com slash build and get twenty percent off when you use code built at checkout that's American dash giant dot com slash built promo code built Hey welcome back to how I built this I'm guy rise so it's around two thousand two and after the sale of replay TV actually is already thinking about his next business something at the intersection of hardware software television and the internet

you know around I talked to a few people I think I introduced myself to reed Hastings you know Netflix fame had lunch with him back then Netflix was around they were just doing DVDs by mail

yep all right so you would eventually land on a concept for what would become roku which was AT a device to help television stream video from the internet but this is two thousand two there isn't a whole lot of stuff to stream it this is not this is pre you to most people select dial up connections maybe there was a you know some people transitioning to to DSL but it's still early days what was your concept that you had come up with

it with the reversal concept was just a category that there's going to be a lot of devices so I know that's kind of a but that was that was the idea and specific product ideas streaming player was on my list there but it wasn't time yet you know that's why Netflix is still mailing out DVDs back then and that's why it was reed Hastings I was like obviously at some point this is going to be internet delivered video company and he's like yep you know so I was sort of like well maybe there's something we can do together so but when I first started the company the timing wasn't right for that so I figured we'll just bill the products kind of start building my team get into the market and I'm a big believer in you know getting in to a big market area and adjusting

even if you don't know what the product is yet

even if you don't know exactly what is I mean I have something to start with but it might not be what you want and that potentially

because the thing you started with was a very far away from a roku is it was I think it was just like a a box that connected to your TV that showed that will display paintings on your TV

yep so it's the same technology this in a rookie but it wasn't but it had a different position in the market a different purpose I guess didn't purpose yes so Ms yes of so we made this first product was basically a high definition photo video and audio player and then we made these little compact flash cards that had what we called live art on them so this was like a nature picture with the stream where the screen was kind of moving you know the water was flowing

yeah

and we had clocks with some cool clocks like a robot that would fly around you know like a cuckoo clock

on that on the television screen

yeah so these the thought it was so the time and then on the hour you know robot it was like this giant sort of steam punk room and then on the hour the robot would take off and fly around to fix the pipe and things like that

about what how and how long did it take because you started the group founded the company in October of two thousand to how long it take you before you had a product to sell

I think it was about a year it takes it takes about a year to build the harbor suffer product

and what was it what was it called is it called roku

it's called footbridge

the photo books and what was a company called roku at that point

the company is called Rocca

and roku by the way it's been six in Japanese

right yes my six company I thought you know kind of an Asian sounding name would be cool for consumer electronics company and we me and Susan my wife for having dinner the sushi restaurant so I start talking to the to the waitress about different words in Japanese and I said it was actually depending how you count exceeded my fifth or six company yeah so I asked her what the Japanese word for five is she said go and go was kind of a failed tech company so I thought now can use go S. and what is what is six inches at Roker that sounds cool

okay so six six and Japanese very I got roku

right so that was our second product which was streaming audio colors sound bridge

I remember this use public radio content

yep so extreme public radio it would stream internet radio stations it would sell premium music from your local library

so it was like a yeah I was like an audio streaming device okay so cool it's good product but I think around this time two thousand to two thousand three you can I reconnect with reed Hastings on the cover of Netflix at a conference and you what you pitched him on this on making a box for them like a streaming video box for Netflix

yep so the so the Samaranch silence I was in the hundreds of thousands which was good but not a huge hit and basically that same time I stopped by remote reunited maintain that relationship and I would check in every once in awhile and say

you know

some version of are you guys ready to streaming video player yet because when you are I want to make it for you I remember one meeting with read more he said I read is very strategic and he knew that many companies and missed transitions in their industry he knew his industry was the transition from DVDs to streaming he just didn't know when you know nobody can so he has to tell me once that he you know I I've allocated a call at three percent of our revenue keep working on this idea of screaming in the background so that we don't miss the transition

how did you convince him to cooperate with you and roku to build a device for Netflix

well it was a long process he would go back and forth between like when I sent an email I mean I guess we need we need your help to that we're gonna do this ourselves and then at some point I got a call from a recruiter saying we're looking for a VP of internet TV for Netflix and I was like well sounds like they're really gonna do it themselves

yeah

and I'd call the breed said Hey I hear you're looking for a head of internet TV I'd be willing to do that for you if you let me keep running roku at the same time like I can do it as a side project and he's like okay that sounds good

to you basically said Hey because oftentimes we get hired like if Google hires you and you've got a company they usually there's a package and they just pile your stuff and then they own whatever you build rate basically said look I've got roku only keep running that ability come work for you and see if I can develop something in house so he essentially said at Netflix said okay yeah you still own your I. P. you still own this company

yep that's right and it is very unusual and not very and I didn't really think he would do it but he did and read is very out of the box thinking that way like he's he's fine doing things that aren't the norm as long as it gets the more he wants to go and so I think he had a lot of respect from my ability and he had bought all the rookie products he left them and he figured I would be perfect to build this platform so

right because the way I think this this is gonna work is instead of like building the roku device at roku with the company you were going to S. like moving into Netflix and and develop but they're right

well yeah I capitulated

when you see capitulated eaten in the sense that you figured

well I wanted a deal where rookie would make the hardware

yeah

but that you know that wasn't gonna happen so I basically decided well if he's not gonna let rookie do it then maybe I should just go do it at Netflix

do you remember when you became a employee at Netflix like team member what year it was like it was

it was two thousand seven I'm pretty sure

okay so basically the product you were building which was the broker product would was going to be the Netflix streaming device

yes they had at this time they had had a beta version of their streaming service but you know yeah it's of a piece on easy web browser so I was hired to build their hardware box they they wanted up a little box that they can give to customers so they could connect as their TV and stream Netflix I didn't have to use their he didn't have to use your PC

and just to clarify you didn't need that box for computer obviously because the computer is connected to the internet but televisions in two thousand five we're not the vast majority were not internet ready or not connected so you would need a box like that to connect to the internet that that connect your television to make this work

that's right and I talk to read and I would have conversations like you know we shouldn't build just enough let's play we should build like an operating system for TV we should run apps which is you know it's gonna be a lot more stuff besides just Netflix and people are gonna want a separate box for every every streaming service he's like yeah that's a good idea and I go with us in conflicts that they they would be competitors Netflix is that okay he's like I think that's okay

yeah

and there's a lot of work on the net on the sort of non hardware part of Netflix there was a lot of work going on so well how are we going to get access to this content because back then it wasn't just a technical problem that was a business it was a huge business model problem

I was a business my problem because I believe

if you

physically rented DVDs that's a different proposition it's like when a radio station plays a song and that's it they just play soccer versus when you stream something then it's different

because

that means that people can and I don't watch it again and again or whatever it's it's is that was that the challenge for them

yes Sir that's right in the studios had a large existing business they were more interested in protecting the insurance they were opening up this new front

some building the hardware for distinguishing one biggest challenge was getting the rights to get the content to stream through that hardware

I think so yeah I think yeah the bigger challenge and they didn't get rights for a long time

yeah so all right so I read that in two thousand seven internally at Netflix you were working as project is called project Griffin I think that we have to put this code name for it right

that was a code name

and you had been able to like demo it for read many times he gave feedback you can download it for the entire staff there was like a lot of excitement

right

but I think by the end of two thousand seven this thing was ready to be launched it was ready to be debuted as a consumer product and you know start shipping should start being manufactured shipping to consumers and one day reed Hastings announces his plan to plug

yeah yeah Mr

this is done or not in this product just one day comes and says

we talked about it the pharmacy before he announced it I mean what happened the sequence of events were that we will in the hardware I hired this guy took a license to try and sign up Xbox and some TV companies that we were having good success there

Xbox will be available through or the Netflix how would how to work

the idea is that if you had an Xbox there would be a rap on your Xbox will let you watch the strike that let you stream Netflix

gotcha okay so you'd signed up you signed Xbox up and PlayStation up if even apple TV right

right so apple TV existed back then as well and actually I would I think I I think if I remember correctly apple TV was the turning point we are working on these other deals it was becoming clear that we were gonna get them that you were gonna be able to at some point get an Xbox and watch Netflix's service on it that it would be adult into TV's

yep

and then we approached I approached apple about the same kind of thing on apple TV you know

yeah

let's let's let's let's the apple TV stream Netflix

yeah

and I think read to send email to Steve Jobs saying are you guys interested in this and Steve Jobs replied no we're not interested because we hear your building hardware that competes with apple TV and so why would we ever do business with you you know something along those lines

so so in other words why would apple TV make Netflix available through its box if you yourself for making your own box that is what they if you were an end so read started to get worried about this that that S. T. hurts start here push back he was coming to the conclusion that maybe this was a bad idea

I don't think is getting worried I think you came to the conclusion that the meat reads one reached characteristics is he's very focused so he'll pick a direction and he is unlikely focused on that direction and so when I came in the direction was we're gonna build a box and distribute to our customers he didn't I think he then decided that a better strategy is to just license our service widely to other hardware makers and we're clouding the picture by making our own hardware and if so if I take this team is working on this hardware and I spit it out and put it in roku then rookie can still finished the box but it'll just be one of

the

many boxes that we can yes

all right so so essentially what happened was

was

read decided to spin this the streaming device back into road could be said that the company roku which you were still running and so instead of Netflix making the device roku would make it in

right

from his perspective from what I understand it was because he wanted that looks to be a neutral platform that he wanted to be available everywhere all the time he didn't want to compete he he wanted to be something where

all

of these other content providers

would

would want to be in as controversial as it was at the time it proved to be very patient and a very good decision ultimately the Netflix did not go into that direction

and the decision was waiting it was good for me like it was a great decision for us I was like yes that sounds great that's what I wanted you know from the beginning

so you take these employees from Netflix have been working on it they'll go to a roku and then you work at a dealer Netflix would get some some brokers equity basically

yeah that's right so they invested not a lot I think it was

six million dollars yeah

that sounds right six million

Netflix from six million to roku at the time

right and so they I think they got twenty percent of the company right so after Netflix invested and we starships player we then decided to raise venture money and so we raised money from venture capitalists called Menlo ventures and then Netflix decided they didn't want to appear to be favoring any one harbor manufacture so they sold their shares to Menlo ventures

right so okay so you've got now the standalone company now really doing what you initially hoped it would be doing which was

a

a box that could interface between the internet and your television

that's right

help me understand what the business model is going to be was it gonna be because at that time presumably the way to make money was just selling hardware son the box and I think the box that initially was like ninety nine Bucks right

yeah it was ninety nine dollars which was a big milestone back them because that was very inexpensive compared to other set top boxes

yep

all right so yeah the way I was thinking about it was that Netflix would be you know the killer app that will allow us to launch a new television platform you know and that was my goal my goal is always to be the platform for TV that you know just like phones have android and PC's have windows and I felt like TV's need Roque

right

but we needed we needed a way to launch then get scale and that's what Netflix was for me so although we lose lost the first product is the Netflix player of the week you know we quickly started adding other services we had in the app store we added billing systems I mean we had all the pieces to build a a television platform and that was the that was the goal

all right there was the apple TV out at that time it was more expensive about three box and and you could watch television to that and you can watch Netflix through that there was the roku produce is ninety nine dollars what I would have asked you at the time was will what happens when televisions are are just in the it was inevitable when televisions have you know Ethernet port and you can directly connect to the internet or their wife wireless single wifi and you could just like load up Google chrome on your TV and then just like log into Netflix like why would you when that happens what is an economic roku irrelevant what what what what did you say when people ask you that question

that's one read thought would happen that was his sort of vision of the way things are planned this one lots of people thought but I you know my experience in the TV industry was the price was incredibly important in the TV business and that web browsers were inefficient way to distribute suffer like they require lots of memory and lots of processing power and that it was not the way to make a WAC to it a lot cheaper and manufacturers always pick the less expensive way

yeah

and so that's why we focused on cost and that's why we were successful in web browsers or not because it it just it just adds quite a bit to the cost to build a TV if you try and use a web browser

the TV becomes more expensive you're saying

yep that's right

and what what can in at that time in two thousand eight two thousand nine what could you watch to the roku box besides Netflix

when it first starships on prime after that prime video came out fairly soon and then after that we added the apps store sub so there was H. BO Hulu I think came out around that time and then because of the apps are you start getting lots of little companies publishing publishing stuff

was it hard for you to convince other media companies to to jump on board or was it more like everyone felt like they would miss out if they didn't jump on board

it was not hard to convince you know initially was more like the internet companies like Amazon or YouTube or you know Hulu was sort of the internet experimental branch of of different networks those companies that had made the decision to do streaming they wanted to be on rookie because we are a leading streaming platform yeah but if you want to traditional media companies that traditional businesses they had no interest in streaming they viewed it as a threat to their business so they did not take their services and put them on training for a long time

so that the the initially the strategy was just to get as many roku is in the hands of consumers because you were not making any money off of people watching Netflix through the roku device right

so the strategy was we will make some money on the hardware and that's just basically financed the business but we're not gonna try and make

make a

profit business on it we're just gonna use it to build scale

and what you build scale you can figure out how to once people have these devices are have the roku platform in their house then you could figure out how to monetize it

right

all right so you've got these devices and I think by two thousand eleven you sold like a million and a half of these devices so it's still it's successful but still you know you still building and building it out I read it in an interview given twenty twelve and this article is used for is at the time most people who streamed video we're doing it through game consoles through ex boxes in twenty twelve only one percent of US homes that time used a device like a roku or apple TV and you had said at the time look more or century not our our market isn't the eighteen to twenty five year old first adopter we're going for their parents actually that's who we want to attract

yep so our goal was to offer a solution that was very inexpensive that was super easy to use you didn't have to be a a game or to use it and just had it and had a lot of content

yeah when asked about the simplicity side because you know anybody by a television today and and I'm just saying if you go by tells just don't because it's annoying there's too many buttons on the remote there's too much stuff you know it's just too many options your put your pressure simple the remote is simple it looks like a looks like a kid like a bigger Bremo for preschooler I'm not trying to say that a disparaging way I like that it's a very simple there's like simple buttons easy is even the website very simple explanation of what roku does that was part of the strategy from the beginning I think right

definitely that's always been a huge part of our strategy and I think our competition continually underestimates how simple consumers want their TV experience to be like a television they want to sit down maybe drink a beer they want to watch something as quickly as they can and then I want to get confused trying to figure out what they're gonna watch and so that has always been a a big focus for us even kind of correlate to that is to consider like tronics especially the wind dominated by Japanese companies they started competing by adding more options and so that just start adding more more buttons there mode they got to the point where you know TV remote has a like a lot of buttons and no one knows what they do and so

we

put a lot of effort into remote control to reduce the number of buttons yet still being powerful and simple to use

there was no off button on the roku box

yeah that was a very controversial decision but it was to make it easier to use we didn't put a power button on the remote control because what if you go back to sort of one of the things that is confusing the people about different voices on the TV is you know you have a source button on your TV needs change the source and the source might be an Xbox or a DVD player or a rookie player and what one of things made it hard was he didn't know if your DVD player was turned on or off yes it is often you didn't know if you're looking your DVD player or not so if I just keep them on all the time and it's easy to find so just makes it easier and it doesn't actually change the power consumption is just wasn't what people are used to so we had a lot of resistance to it but it made it a lot easier to use and now it's the standard

twenty twelve ten years after you officially launched a company but really you know that time you've been a Netflix you get an acquisition offer from Intel they apparently are looking we're looking to buy you out for about close to half a billion dollars you were reportedly looking for one point five billion but that deal fell through because it was just too much for them is that is it true that what happened

I remember there was some interest in them buying us we never you know never got to the paper stage

why are you willing to entertain the possibility of selling was it was it because

we didn't really entertain the possibility didn't it they tried to they tried to bias or they don't even try to I mean it depends what you might try to buy they were interested in acquiring us we were not really interested in selling but I mean it you know even if you're not sure the selling at some point that is a price zero there's a price exashare

and so you basically from what I understand you basis is sure it will take a billion and a half for it

I don't remember exactly I do remember that there was I probably gave them a price that was unreal is unreasonable and they probably set now but I think that's we see feedback if we just go to higher level I think if you're an entrepreneur and you start a company and you've already been successful like I have in terms of financially successful

yeah

and you don't really in it for the money anymore so so it just becomes hard to do a transaction just based on money my my attitude for roku has always been look as long as I see a path to us continuing to grow and be successful then there's no reason to sell the reason this cell as if you know you think the competitive dynamics of the market as I have gotten to the point where it's difficult to be standalone and successful that you need help that you need to leverage of being part of something else and then that would be a legitimate reason I can I want to run the company into the ground

but right

but absent that why would you sell this is just getting more valuable every year

right true but acquisition could also be a good thing right I mean there are plenty of examples where companies a call I mean audible required by Amazon became a much bigger companies there lots of a twitch right because they become bigger so there are and this is a strategy you've got to give your investors return I know that'll that that a year later Amazon approached roku with an acquisition offer and that that also didn't didn't work out but at the time there's a quote there's an article the time that was written about this and and one of your main investors in you said this to this article you said you know we've had less acquisition offers an animal is normal for a company as successful as ours M. and yes I think it's because people don't understand the company hit one of your big main investors who said Newport Daniel Leff said I I am no more listening I'm was shocked there wasn't a single media executive who believe roku would be successful it wasn't getting almost any acquisition offers so clearly there was whether you were interested in entertaining them or not you were surprised at the lack of acquisition offers at the time

that's all true I mean I am surprised at how few serious acquisition discussions rookie was had

because you were underestimated you think

continually underestimated and still are I think in fact I did it is a pretty big competitive advantage that people underestimate us and so they're always surprised when they lose so for example it's amazing the number of media companies active that didn't think streaming would be popular they just thought there's nothing wrong with cable and satellite the world is not going to change when it was so clear that the course is going to change the internet has disrupted every industry and it's going to disrupt video as well and then it then I think at the point when rookie became like well maybe actually maybe we should think about buying roku we had finally become so valuable that it was too expensive for them

when we come back just a moment we hear about some of the other ways that the industry continues to underestimate Roque stay with us I'm guy rise in your listening to how I built this many of us had to wear an uncomfortable or unflattering work uniform at some point in our lives as a business owner you can change this by getting fully customized clothes accessories and promotional products featuring your logo and colors from lands and business lines and business is the leading online supplier of uniforms for everyone from top financial institutions and major airlines to local mom and pop stores it's so much more than the same old work polos recently I've been wearing lands and business customized clothing and some of my favorites are there softshell jacket and their fleece beanie they're super high quality they're comfortable and they're nothing like the usual company swag that's out there see why thousands of companies count on lands and business go to business dot lands end dot com slash build and use promo code built for twenty five percent off your first product that's business dot lands end dot com slash built promo code built for twenty five percent off your first product you're a most love about audible no matter where I am my imagination can run wild with incredible stories and adventures with audible you can discover new worlds learn about old worlds and think about how to make a better world audible has an incredible selection of audiobooks across every genre from best sellers new releases to celebrity memoirs mysteries and thrillers motivation wellness business and more I love listening to the audible app it's super convenient to use and by the way you can listen to me narrate my book how I built this on audible check it out plus tons more audio books and podcasts on audible today let audible help you discover new ways to laugh be inspired or be entertained new members can try it for free for thirty days visit audible dot com slash build or text built to five hundred five hundred that's audible dot com slash build or text built to five hundred five hundred the track audible free for thirty days I double dot com slash build welcome back to how I built this I'm guy rise so by two thousand fourteen roku sold around eight million streaming devices in the US but at this point smart TV's are also rolling out into the market which means Roco has to expand its reach you actually end up partnering with manufacturers in twenty fourteen to build the roku last four inside the televisions and that of course you sell their roku televisions and you work with a bunch of different companies how how much of a of a sort of a game changer was that did that have you not done that what Rokeby words today

it was important decision I'm very key to our success and is a hugely successful program for us the rookie TV program I mean we were for a long time we debated should we actually make our own TV's and it was clear that that's a tough business to be in so we decided licensing would be by far the best approach

yeah once you reached a level of scale you were able to start thinking more specifically about you know your revenue model because you're not gonna make it by just selling devices so so from what I understand it really if you can you had that the hardware the streaming sticks will start out with the boxes and others you have got sticks that sells that's not a huge part of your revenue but then it was like licensing the platform the software to these television manufacturers then there's a part of it that I don't understand which I think is amazing which is a revenue sharing agreement with the content provider so it's like cable channels right like cable TV if you're C. N. N. or a let's talk about channel for example if your CNN you get money from advertisers and you get money from cable carriers that pay you a certain amount of money per subscriber with you guys it's old it's almost inverted which is the the channels the content writers pay you a small fee from their revenue right how to explain how that works

so yes so it's I mean our model is not a traditional cable model like as you just pointed out we get paid for disturbing content but we don't bill we don't have a monthly subscription like a cable operator has but we do have a billing platform you know part of our purpose built platform for TV is building in tools for the industry to help them help them sign up subscribers we can promote them we can do one click billing so we have a lot of influence on signing up subscribers and so our model is basically if we sign up to subscribe or or we do billing then we get a you know we get a piece of that subscription idea

right

so that's you know go back to the underestimated part of it it that also comes in the play in that most media executives when they start getting into screaming they underestimate Roky because they'll have Sampson TV's or an apple an apple TV's and so they're always surprised when they find out that were their number one source of customers

right

if your service has ads in and then we get we don't get money from you directly but we get at some of the ad inventory just just same way like

you can sell some of the added inventory and starkly right we can sell you have admit even ad sales division such in house

right and that's that's their biggest businesses selling selling video ads it is pretty clear advertising is a huge opportunity you know it's there's hello seventy eighty billion dollars a year spent on TV advertising in the U. S. alone and it's all moving to streaming so you know one of the things that we did the people that appreciate the time and now they do is we started something called the roku channel which is essentially free ad supported movies and TV shows an all star that everyone was trying to copy Netflix but we're like most countries in the world TV is free and the support of I asked the U. S. is sort of unique and that the the industry evolved to the point where you pretty much have to have a pay TV subscription but you don't that doesn't need to be that way like we can with streaming we can offer people free content does have a supported by ads so that's what we did with the rookie channel and so was the first time really that was a lot of mainstream content that was available for free

that you would license or that you would outright by

both I mean we started out just licensing but now we're actually producing originals and you know it's very popular people love free free TV so

yeah

that's become a big all of our business and in that it generates a lot of Adama Traore instead drives a lot of R. and business

does the device became more and more popular some of your partners started become competitors to Amazon developed a competing product Google want their giants they were they are did that worry you at all

well first giant competitors concerns us but I was pretty confident in our strategy I mean of course it was risk but I felt like we had a path to winning which we have taken and continue to take which is basically to build a platform this custom built for TV's as opposed to taking something that exists for say a phone and porting it to TV so it's not just the technology of course that's part of it like one of the you know one of the advantages of our operating system is that it costs less to build a hardware but it's also just the focus you know incredibly focused on on that one problem as opposed to other problems

right

we're the only streaming companies to apply for a company that that's all we do that we come to work every day trying to build the simplest best cheapest streaming player possible our competitors don't do that they come into work every day trying to figure out how to build a better search engine generally or how to sell more stuff online yeah and there's a lot of innovation in the business to happen and we're you know we're good innovation so you know I'm confident that will continue to compete successfully

in the streaming wars has also benefited you because the more that Disney and Amazon and Netflix and Hulu and all these different companies compete peacock and and paramount like it's better for you because most most all of them want to be on your platform

yes so the the reasons benefit us is because we because the benefits the streaming companies when they want to build an audience you know they they start spending money on marketing how do they want to spend money on parking they can buy billboards are they could buy ads on roku where with one click from the ad you can sign up for their service and so those ads actually just way more effective

and in terms of of going going in different directions when you have a bunch of things that you're you know in advertising and obviously the hardware and the software but what about content I mean I know you required content our license content from queen bee the short lived could be you got a you you you sort of bought out a bunch of their content and I think you bought this old house yeah that show on PBS you on that show is there a future where you're going to be a studio and you gotta make your own stuff too

I we are producing originals noun

not

not a huge number like a Netflix or an Amazon but you know still many millions of dollars worth we have a show coming out right now called we are to al in a biopic starring Daniel Radcliffe

that's that's a that's a the surrealism

that's a real good original yeah

wow okay I didn't know that

yeah

this business has the company went public in I think in twenty seventeen and of course like many tech companies you've had an incredible ride and twenty twenty twenty twenty one huge

growth

for roku lots of people are stuck at home twenty two H. is different there's been a downturn across the board the markets you know most tech companies their stock price are down fifty sixty percent what do you think about that I mean you you you are the head of a public company so you do quarterly earnings calls and so on what we talking about a temporary I don't know slow down or is this something is are you are you sort of guarding yourself for a long the

winter of

of of a business

well I mean that the way I think about it is the world is moving to streaming it's a huge trend you know the economy is cyclical that's just the way it is and one shouldn't confuse the cyclical economy with the fact that everyone is switching to streaming in our business fundamentally is got a lot of room to grow so we're still seeing good growth I mean we haven't given outlook for the next few quarters but you know we haven't announced layoffs or anything like that

this is it a question that very few people like but it's it's an important question ask because we're we're living in a time of incredible wealth and I don't hold it against anybody who makes a car I think it's a good it's a great it's great I mean if you make incredible wealth it's good for you usually employ lots of people and you probably are gonna end up giving away a lot of that money but you do have that wealth lots of it I'm more money than you could ever use your family could ever use what do you what what do you think you do with it

that's an excellent question and it's hard to answer if you think about money and the fact that successful entrepreneurs accumulated you're right they can't spend it all that's right in fact almost a very tiny part of it is what they spend the rest gets invested so the question I think is well who should be investing that money should be that someone like me or should that be someone else and so I think actually people are six earn money successfully through business or good investing as well and so it's actually quite efficient for them to invest in versus someone else in terms of how you could actually use the money you know I have a big philanthropy effort IBM you know harder director of philanthropy but it's actually very difficult to give away money effectively because there's less accountability versus a company like you imagine putting money in a nonprofit versus putting money in the company well the company is measured in this very motivated on being efficient and you know makes hard decisions what is a nonprofit they don't have those difficult decisions they're less efficient and it's easy for them to waste I'm not saying that they all do obviously because I give a lot of money to nonprofits and I think you're being helpful but but actually if I had a choice between putting money in a non profit versus the company that we're both kind of addressing the same area the company would be my choice because it's it's gonna be more accountable is going to do a better job but if you test your strategy then you end up making more money from

yeah

the money that you're investing so so I think it's an interesting problem how do you how do you use your money most effectively for the world

yep what's your main philanthropic Blake got focus

well our our mission is basically advancing human progress there's probably a few different areas where I give money to in that in that round one is medical and scientific research so research around diseases but also research around interesting kinda signs things that I don't think well funded like for example I'm kind of it should what causes ice ages so I give money to research on U. K. that the research his team researches the fundamental causes of ice ages people don't know what causes ice ages for all we know we're about to have another one so scientific research on mental health you know mental health and homelessness which are very closely related I give lots of money to that but the focus is mostly on not just giving people money but trying to alleviate like the root causes so there's there's a couple other areas but those are some of the areas like if money's

I'm when you think about you know where you been where you've come from where you are today I mean you were clearly motivated to make money early on in your life you talked about this when you're in college more money can come from a family of money and we wanted to feel secure and stable and you did I mean by the age of thirty one you had killed thirty million Bucks here you are today forget the money side but she built a culturally relevant product a product that they're plenty of of people who have made a lot of money but not all of them have had have had a cultural impact where people are she their lives are affected by the thing that that you made right and that happened on the change where people consume media and content do you think that that your path to success is because of your hard work in your intelligence and and and the grinder do think more or less do with with with getting lucky in having lucky breaks meeting reed Hastings or you know or or or the fact that that that Netflix didn't make the box and spun it out or I don't know how much you think luck played a factor in how much how much do you think just your hard work in fact

it's obviously a combination right like it's a combination of I'm I think some of the key characteristics at least the way I've been successful in our passion like being very like I'm I love technical stuff and it turns out technical stuff to make you a lot of money so you know having an interest in that being good at it but I don't really know why I'm good at it growing up with a culture that values hard work and you know being persistent and send the word look comes in it's just how long it takes I think and maybe the timing a little bit so you know I didn't I didn't just happen to be a since I sent an email and I tried to get myself introduced for example

said Michael a cabin

yes I think so

that's into the woods the founder and CEO of roku but wait that new roku original film that Anthony was talking about for sure their most ambitious one today it's called weird and it's a fake biopic about the life of weird al Yankovic it's absolutely hilarious and if you wanna find out more about the making of the film and how weird al conceived of the idea you can hear my brand new interview with weird al my other show it's called the great creators and it's available where ever you get your podcasts Hey thanks so much for listening to the show this week if you enjoyed it please do spread the word tell someone about how I built this or post about it on social media if you want to contact the team our email address is H. I. B. T. at I. D. dot one three dot com if you want to follow us on Twitter or account is at how I built this and mine is at guy rise in on Instagram at guy dot rods this episode was produced by G. C. Howard with music composed by Ramstein air of Louis it was edited by Neva grant with research help from St Paulson our production staff also includes Casey Herman coats John Isabella Liz Metzger Catherine safer Terry Thompson Alex John Christmas sini Carl Estevez and Josh slash our intern in Susannah brown and guy rise and you've been listening to how I built this

and

prime members you can listen to how I built this early an ad free on Amazon music download the Amazon music app today or you can listen early in ad free with one three plus an apple podcasts if you want to show your support for our show be sure to get your how I built this merch and gear and wonder we shop dot com before you go tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at one three dot com slash survey

thank you your job stinks just wait until you hear what it was like to be a funeral cloud long before all of human knowledge was in your pocket people had some pretty bizarre professions luckily you don't have to see S. sin eater or a barber surgeon now but you'll find out what it's like to get surgery with a shave wonder is new podcast this job is history is hosted by Chris Parnell from Saturday Night Live and Rick and Morty steep in factual history this brilliantly funny podcast delves into quirky an absurd jobs from the past but hilarious interviews that are infused with fascinatingly true Easter eggs come get weird with us each week as improv comedians from Groundlings and UCB act out their old fashioned gig from another time you'll be glad your guidance counselor didn't recommend any of these jobs clock in and follow this job is history wherever you get your podcasts you can listen ad free on the Amazon music or wonder recap

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