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Portrait of the Netflix founder as a young man


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A man of eclectic tastes, Hastings studied math and later artificial intelligence, but he always had a head for business. He delayed attending Bowdoin to continue a summer job as a door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman.  Hastings told staff writer Emma Peters: "I loved it, strange as that might sound. You get to meet a lot of different people." He also showed a precocious aptitude for business plans. After participating as a mentor in a self-paced calculus program at Bowdoin, Hastings penned a detailed analysis of how the school could make it better. "We ran the program for well over 10 years and no student had ever turned in anything like that," said a professor. Later, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, Hastings helped villagers build a better system for delivering water and worked with them to improve their honey-bee business. Both were side projects unrelated to his Peace Corps work.

For everyone who thinks that careers are linear or that successful people know exactly we're they're going, a quotation from the humble Hastings might be illuminating.  "Mine was a path of serendipity, but it was a path of just being passionate about whatever I was doing at that time," he told the student paper. "I'm as surprised as anyone about my business success."

He does seem rather humble.

I wonder what kind of a leader he is compared to Bezos.

Much kinder and gentler; less able to take truly huge risks.

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