Netflix: When You’re Wrong, You’re Wrong

COMMENTARY | Mark it on your calendar, folks. On October 10, 2011, a big business admitted that they were wrong. After Netflix announced its plan to split instant and streaming movie plans into two separate services (Netflix and Qwikster), it came under a barrage of criticism and mockery from customers as well as pop-culture critics. However, rather than stubbornly sticking to their guns, Netflix did the unthinkable: It listened to the customers and moved things back to the way they were.

This happens so rarely in the big business world that many of us were shocked. But who knows, maybe some other businesses will take note and follow suit. Here are a few other companies that have made big changes, but didn’t listen to what their customers wanted. Maybe they should?

Myspace: Where did they go wrong? Myspace used to be the social network of choice for people and musicians everywhere. They had the most users, the highest revenue, and the coolest setup. But one day they gave the user full control over what their “space” looked like. Widgets, videos, music players, and glittery decorations exploded all over. And if it wasn’t on your page, it was in your comments. Users got annoyed, and eventually moved on to newer and better social networks.

Starbucks: The coffee giant recently made a small but significant change to their logo. While the image remains basically the same, the word “Coffee” has been taken away. Starbucks seems to be hoping to move into other products besides coffee, such as food. But coffee is what they do best, and it’s what people love them for. Who wants to pay for overpriced pastries or bread on top of overpriced coffee?

Hulu: As watching our TV shows online has grown more and more popular, Hulu stepped in at exactly the right place and time to make it big and make a buck. When Hulu released Hulu Plus, it made sense. For just a little bit of money each month, you can watch entire series of great shows, classic and new. However, recent changes have made it so that we can no longer watch certain episodes the day after they are released unless we pay for Hulu Plus. Often, you have to wait an extra week to view them on regular Hulu. Not cool, Hulu.

Facebook: These guys are the kings of unwanted change. From way back in the day when they first added the newsfeed, to the recent removal of the ability to invite groups of friends to events, they manage to inspire an anti-Facebook diatribe every time. Of course, all the protests are made via Facebook and its many features …

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