It’s always interesting to hear what CEOs really think, and this week we ran across Netflix CEO Reed Hasting’s explanation for how Netflix is going to self-destruct, plus an interview with former Apple CEO John Sculley. Also this week, Google Docs gains a comment-only access option and Apple receives a fascinating 3D display and imaging system patent.
Netflix CEO Explains Price Increase, Renames DVD Service — After a nearly inexplicable 60 percent price increase in July 2011 was followed by a drop in customers, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has written an apology and explanation that was posted on the company’s blog and sent to all customers in email. In it, Hastings reveals that Netflix will be separating the DVD and streaming sides of the business even more, rebranding the DVD-delivery service to “Qwikster.” Responses (over 10,000 so far) on the company’s blog seem to be universally negative, with customers expressing unhappiness (to put it mildly) with the future separation of services and the pricing. Might be time for Netflix to consider an about-face before it’s too late.
John Sculley Interviewed about Steve Jobs — John Sculley, the man Steve Jobs recruited to run Apple in 1983, is still around, investing in and mentoring startups. In this interview, he talks about his background, how he got his start at Pepsi, why he chose to go to Apple, and how things worked between him and Steve Jobs.
Google Docs Gains Comment-Only Access Option — Until now there has been no way to give people comment-only access to a document in Google Docs. That’s a problem because you may want feedback on a document without letting someone actually change it. According to this Google Docs blog post, Google Docs accounts will start gaining the option of sharing a document with people in such a way that all they can do is add a comment. You can even set public documents such that anyone can comment. With this change, Google Docs becomes an even more valuable collaboration tool — there’s almost no reason to mail Word documents around for comment any more.
Apple Receives 3D Display and Imaging System Patent — Patently Apple reports on a new patent granted to Apple that describes a 3D display and imaging system. It apparently watches a space in front of the user, enabling her to work with holographic images or virtual representations of her hands that can manipulate virtual objects. It’s hard to see this appearing in a shipping product soon, but Apple’s research labs clearly understand the need to define new forms of virtual interaction that go beyond the keyboard, mouse, and touchscreen.